29 April 2002

5 charged as GM crop field is damaged

Protesters destroyed part of a field containing genetically modified crops yesterday less than 24 hours after five others were arrested on vandalism charges.

An area of the trial site at Munlochy in the Highlands was damaged after protesters entered the field in the early hours.

Police have not given details of how much of the field at Roskill Farm on the Black Isle was damaged but campaigners claimed that more than half of the GM oilseed rape crop had been destroyed.

In a statement, the protesters said they decided to act after the Scottish Environment Minister Ross Finnie's refusal to stop the GM trials.

A spokesman said: "It is simply irresponsible to continue pumping public money into testing GM crops that nobody wants. And we will certainly not allow them in our environment."

Three men and two women were remanded in custody yesterday charged with breach of the peace and vandalism and are due to appear at Dingwall Sheriff Court today.

The field was also attacked last weekend. About five acres of the controversial crop were damaged on that occasion and police inquiries are still continuing.