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British Jury Again Acquits GE Crop Saboteurs

British Jury Again Acquits GE Crop Saboteurs

Agence France Presse
11/19/01

British jury acquits anti-GM protesters

WORCESTER, England, Nov 19

Two British protesters were Monday cleared of causing criminal damage to a field of genetically-modified maize,
the second high-profile acquittal involving destruction of trial GM crops in a year.

Barbara Charvet, 59, and Jim Ridout, 26, cut down about two acres (about five hectares) of both GM and non-GM
plants at Preston Wynne, Herefordshire, central England, in August last year, in protest at government trials. A
jury at Worcester crown court accepted their defence that they had a lawful excuse for their actions.

Rideout had accused the government of not listening to people's concerns about genetically-modified foods.

He said: "This is a great verdict for the anti-GM campaign. It shows that this has been GM on trial.

"The jury has voted that GM is dangerous and shouldn't be in our environment."

A jury at Norwich Crown Court, eastern England, last year cleared Greenpeace campaigners, including the group's
leader Lord Melchett, of criminal damage after they cut down the same type of herbicide-resistant GM maize on a
local farm.

In February, the government announced trials of GM crops at 96 sites. Meanwhile, commercial use of GM crops
remains illegal in Britain.

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