Environmental activists broke into an Australian government research farm Thursday and destroyed an experimental crop of genetically-modified wheat protesting against what they said were safety issues.
Armed with weed trimmers, three Greenpeace activists scaled a fence at the Canberra facility in the early hours of the morning and razed the crop, which had been modified to lower its glycemic index and increase fibre.
The government science agency running the trials, CSIRO, confirmed there had been “a break-in overnight at their crop trial site” and it was assessing the damage.
“The police, and the government’s gene technology regulatory authority … have been informed and are inspecting the site,” a CSIRO spokesman told AFP.
“CSIRO is currently assessing the damage to the trial crops and considering next steps.”
Greenpeace said the activists, three women, wore hazardous materials suits to keep them from carrying GM organisms out of the site, and were motivated by concerns about the trial’s safety.
“The government has said they would commercialise GM wheat by 2015 in Australia, that would make us the first country in the world to approve GM wheat to be commercially grown,” said campaigner Laura Kelly.
“But the polling shows Australians don’t want to eat it.”
Read more at AFP