Man faces GM wheat break-in charges
Monday 21 May 2012
A 50-year-old man has been charged with criminal damage after an
incident at a research centre where a trial of GM wheat is taking place.
Hector Christie, from Devon, was arrested following a break-in at the Rothamsted Research centre in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, on Sunday.
Scientists at the centre are conducting a controlled GM wheat experiment, combining modern genetic engineering with their knowledge of natural plant defences, to test whether wheat that can repel aphid attack works in the field.
In a statement, Rothamsted said an intruder had caused "significant" property damage during the break-in on Sunday, but had failed to disrupt the experiment.
Dr Maurice Moloney, director and chief executive of Rothamsted Research, said: "This act of vandalism has attempted to deny us all the opportunity to gather knowledge and evidence, for current and future generations, on one possible technological alternative approach to get plants to defend themselves and therefore reduce pesticide use."
Peter Kendall, NFU president, also condemned the attack.
He said: "If the aim is to feed nine billion people by 2050 there is a sense of urgency to start dealing with this issue now against a backdrop of pressures on natural resources, unpredictable weather patterns, climate change and the need to manage more carefully the use of chemical inputs.
"To achieve this we will need every single tool in our toolbox - and that includes GM crops that have been adapted to cope in dry conditions, need fewer pesticides or offer nutritional benefits.
"Of course there needs to be a strong legal framework for approvals and effective co-existence measures to allow GM and non-GM systems to operate successfully together, but these must be proportional to the need so that growers can retain their markets, and must be based on sound science."
Campaigners have criticised the trials and a demonstration is to be held by one anti-GM group, Take the Flour Back, on May 27.
Christie, of Tapeley Park Lodge, Instow, has been bailed to reappear before Central Magistrates' Court in St Albans on July 13, Hertfordshire Police said.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To promote and sell the Company...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Business: This company is going thro...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind Recruitment are currently working...