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French Police Prevent GM Crop Destruction

Autonomedia writes: "SIGALENS, France -- Police clad in riot gear prevented activists opposed
to genetically modified (GM) crops from hacking down three fields of
experimental maize on Saturday.

It was the first time French police have stopped GM crop sites being
ransacked since protesters began a campaign in late June to rip up
bio-engineered plants.

The police action came after Prime Minister Lionel Jospin publicly
criticized the destruction of GM crop tests on Tuesday, describing the
protests as illegal and urging activists to stop.

Some 100 activists from radical farmers' union Confederation Paysanne,
anti-globalization movement Attac and other groups arrived at a site in
Sigalens in southwest France, wielding sickles and scythes to chop down
the maize plants.

But between 100 and 150 police carrying riot shields and truncheons
waited at the field, which belongs to French biotechnology firm

The protesters placed their tools on the ground in front of the police
but said they would be back.

"There is no question of having a confrontation. If we can't act today,
we'll come back another day," one of the protest organizers said.

A similar police reception awaited the 100 or so activists who had
planned to cut down two fields of maize near the village of
Saint-Martin-la-Riviere, in west central France.

The maize was being grown by U.S. biotechnology giant Monsanto, which
has been the target of several anti-GM protests this summer."