Anti-GM crops protesters arrested

Police today arrested four protesters after a field of genetically modified crops was ripped up and trampled on by around 70 activists.

Police today arrested four protesters after a field of genetically modified crops was ripped up and trampled on by around 70 activists.

Fife Police detained the anti-GM protesters following a day of action against the crop trials at Wester Friarton Farm in Newport-on-Tay, Fife, Scotland.

Around 250 people turned out for what was billed as ‘‘a family day out’’ involving barbecues, music stalls and speeches, including one from Green MSP Robin Harper.

As the day drew to a close around 70 protesters reportedly entered the mist-covered field and started damaging the crops.

One of the protesters, 81-year-old Maurice Romilly, said the protesters had ‘‘trashed’’ part of the field growing GM crops because locals did not want the trials to go ahead.

Mr Romilly, a retired journalist, said: ‘‘The protest was billed as a fun demonstration but as the afternoon wore on the protesters got down to the serious business.

‘‘They walked into the field and vanished in the mist and they couldn’t be seen from the road, but while in the field they were basically flattening the GM crop.

‘‘Only four people were arrested because it was so misty and the police only arrested those who they could see through the field.’’

Mr Romilly’s daughter-in-law Sally, also from Newport, said the campaigners were ‘‘angry’’ because the Scottish Executive had failed to listen to their opposition.

She said: ‘‘We have been campaigning for many months against it and we have tried to go through the democratic process.’’

She added: ‘‘The vast majority of the people don’t want GM crop trials and they don’t want to eat GM food.’’

Mrs Romilly said Mr Harper, a list MSP for Lothians, had told the gathering to ‘‘stick in there and keep on with the demonstrations’’.

She said the issue of crop trials was also due to resurface next week in the Scottish Parliament when the Health Committee considers a petition opposed to the GM trials.

A spokeswoman for Fife Police confirmed that officers had arrested four people during a protest in north east Fife and said reports would be submitted to the procurator fiscal at Cupar.

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