Anti-GMO activists destroy rapeseed trial crops in France to protest mutagenesis, not realizing plants were not mutagenic

Protesters “completely” ruined trials across more than 1 hectare (2.47 acres) on a research plot in the southwestern Charente-Maritime region on the night of May 19, Paris-based oilseed researcher Cetiom said in an online statement. None of the destroyed plants had been genetically modified, Mathieu Godet, an engineer at Cetiom, said by phone.

“The reapers prevent the sharing and dissemination of knowledge and innovation that are essential in the development of agricultural practices,” Cetiom said. “In vandalizing the location, the reapers are causing prejudice to all farmers.”

Experiments derived from mutagenesis, the process of provoking crop mutations using laboratory procedures, accounted for less than 3 percent of the destroyed surface, Cetiom said. The technique has been used for more than 50 years to develop both “conventional” and organic crops, the statement showed. The destroyed trials included experiments growing rapeseed along with legumes to limit the effect of weather swings, pests and weeds, with the ultimate goal of reducing pesticide use, Cetiom said. The work fits with France’s Ecophyto plan to cut use of crop chemicals, it said.

Read the full, original article: French Rapeseed Trials Said Destroyed to Protest Mutated Crops

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