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18th July 1999
Over 500 protesters wearing protective suits trashed a 25 acre crop of genetically modified oilseed rape today. The crop in Oxfordshire was one of 6 major GM test sites in the UK. After an initial stand off, the police brought in a helicopter and reinforcements to clear the site, arresting three protesters. Read personal reports of the action here

from SchNEWS 211, 14th May 1999

At least eight test sites growing genetically modified oil seed rape got a good kicking last Friday. The action could well have set the commercialisation of genetic oil rape back 12 months. The Genetic Engineering Network (GEN) learned of this unprecendented removal from a group calling themselves 'Ambridge Against Genetix'. According to GEN this takes the number of sites that have been decontaminated this year to 14. And as the Ambridge crew point out "this is only the start of the summer"

A total of 37 genetic sites were destroyed in 1998 according to GEN, PO Box 9656, London, N4 Tel 0181 374 9516 email

from SchNEWS 207, 9th April 1999

"This was a political, and in my experience, unprecedented decision. By withdrawing the case from the jury the Crown have accepted that there was compelling evidence that the defendents had a lawful excuse to remove the GM maize. The last thing the Crown wanted was to see a jury- a microcosm of society- acquit people who admitted taking direct action against GM crops."
- Mike Schwarz, defence solicitor.

The two women who faced charges of conspiracy to cause criminal damage for removing GM maize from a test site have had their charges dropped, with the Crown Prosecution Service admitting that they were unable to prove that the two women did not have 'lawful excuse' to pull up the GM maize.


After nine months of preparation for the case, the Crown Prosecution Service decided to drop the charges four days before the trial was set to begin, announcing that "for complex reasons the Crown intend to offer no evidence." They admitted in court that they actually overestimated the cost of the damage, that the figure of £605,000 was a bit exaggerated, its more like £5,000!!

Despite the pouring rain, 300 people turned up outside the court with banners and street theatre, with a bio-hazzard flag hoisted onto the Crown Courts mast.The defence solicitor stated that this was a green light for direct action let's get busy this summer!!!

infoburst:Totnes Genetics Group: 01803 840098 Web:

A genetic test site on the Scottish Agricultural College's Boghall Farm was trashed last week, despite a large police presence with horses and dogs.6 people were nicked but were released without charge
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