Letter: GM crops on trial

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The Independent Culture
Sir: In your article, "Monsanto legal move sparks civil rights row" (9 April), you claim that the Prime Minister and the Prince of Wales "could soon receive legal notices from Monsanto". This is far fetched.

In July 1998 Monsanto was granted an injunction preventing members of Genetix Snowball from damaging our property, or encouraging others to do so.

In December 1998 Genetix Snowball published a Handbook for Action describing how to uproot GM crops at trial sites around the UK and encouraging readers to take action. The handbook and other material encouraging the uprooting of GM crops and other unlawful acts is also published on Genetix Snowball's website.

As a result, if someone reads the handbook or accesses the website and takes action in support of Genetix Snowball, then those group members responsible for encouraging such unlawful activity are likely to face further action by damaging Monsanto's property.

Of course, anyone who simply reads the handbook but takes no unlawful action against Monsanto's property need not fear being sued or prosecuted. Astonishingly, this means that only people who break the law will face legal action!

We are also far from interested in who has or has not read this book. But we have a duty to ensure that everyone who receives or accesses the handbook also receives, or is able to access, a copy of any relevant current Court Order.

Many of the questions that are being asked about GM crops can be best answered through field trial data. Sadly, organisations like Genetix Snowball seem intent on denying others those answers.


Monsanto plc

London W1