French scientists are up in arms over the recent court acquittal of 54 anti-GMO activists who destroyed 70 experimental transgenic grapevines in eastern France in August 2010. Twelve leading research agencies and university organizations released a joint statement on Monday expressing their “serious concern” over the consequences of the Colmar Appeal Court’s decision to throw out the case, and urging clarification of the relevant laws and regulations.
The statement noted that “the protection of experiments in controlled conditions is no longer assured”, and this was the first court ruling since the law increased the ceiling on sanctions for destroying non-commercial experimental crops. Higher education and research secretary of state Geneviève Fioraso told the National Assembly, or lower house of parliament, today that she endorsed the research organizations’ joint statement. “It is important in a spirit of scientific progress and risk control that circumscribed research can be carried out in all safety,” she said during government question time. Failing that, “we risk discouraging research”.
Read the full, original article: Uproar as anti-GM vine activists acquitted in France