This is a translation of a report by the Dutch action-magazine Ravage http://www.antenna.nl/ravage
Amsterdam, June 25th 2001
ACTIVISTS ELIMINATE FIELD TESTS
In the night of Sunday to Monday June 25 activists calling themselves "Razende Hazen" (Enraged Hares) have sabotaged two field tests of genetically engineered sugar beets in Brabant, the south of The Netherlands. They made up a test of 'Roundup-Ready sugar beets by agro-multinational Monsanto."We removed the green of the plants, making the test uncompletable," says the group in a statement delivered to Ravage.
"The purpose of this action is to directly stop the spreading of genetically modified organisms (GMO's) in our environment and food," state the Hares. The Roundup-Ready beets have been genetically altered to be able to resist Monsanto's herbicide 'Roundup'. "This way, Monsanto can sell both more seeds and more Roundup."
The fields are located in Heerle (Kepelstreet 12) and Rilland (Damesweg 2). Both are 1152 square metres.
The Enraged Hares have in this way made a contribution to the national debate on genetics and food. The activists say this debate is "mustard after a meal [a Dutch expression], because the government's allready decided to actively stimulate genetic technology. In the so called public meeting that the government commission is organising today, the public will not be allowed to speak. They will be 'educated', but there will be no debate," say the activists.
"Even though there's wide spread doubt on use of GMO food, the biotechindustry keeps going on the road of social and ecological destruction. Large companies and governents set the agenda to globalise patent-laws, that privatise life as 'intellectual property', selling science to motives of profit and power."
"Monsanto is a good example. Recently a Canadian farmer, Percy Schmeiser, had to appear in court for breaking a Monsanto patent. Unknowingly, he had Roundup Ready plants on his land. This was blown over from a neighbouring field, but Schmeiser was found guilty. This should alarm all farmers. Bringing GMO's into the environment is irreversible and clearly conflicting with the precaution-principle, which has also been incorporated in the Biosafety Protocol of the
Tonight's actions were part of the second international day of actions against the biotech-industry.