Letters: Monsanto sues

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Dan Verakis of Monsanto claims that, with regard to Monsanto's test sites in Britain, "only people who break the law will face action" (letter, 15 April).

This is far from being the case; no criminal prosecution has ever been taken against myself and four other women who removed GM plants from a Monsanto site last July. Rather than the lawfulness of our act of digging being considered by a jury, the legal action which we and other Genetix Snowball supporters are facing is in the form of a civil action for an injunction from Monsanto.

This lawsuit has been described as a "Slapp" - a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. Slapps, commonly used by corporations in the USA, are an attempt to silence protesters and potential protesters by suing them for defamation, injury or conspiracy, thus presenting citizens with a "price" for speaking out politically.

For a corporation which can afford to pursue injunctions this is a strategy which they believe to be more effective at silencing opponents than taking them to court and trying the lawfulness of the actual actions.

MELANIE JARMAN

Genetix Snowball

Manchester

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