French farmer starts hunger strike over GM crops

A militant French farmer who once wrecked a McDonald’s in a food protest began a hunger strike today over genetically modified crops.

A militant French farmer who once wrecked a McDonald’s in a food protest began a hunger strike today over genetically modified crops.

Jose Bove and about 15 supporters said they wanted to pressure the government to ban cultivation of genetically modified corn.

“We will hold out for as long as it takes,” said the sheep farmer, an unsuccessful presidential candidate last April.

Bove had eaten only vegetable soup for eight days before his fast to accustom his body to the lack of food.

His protest is focused against a seed-type called MON 810, the only type of genetically modified corn currently allowed in France.

He rose to fame in August 1999 when he and supporters used farm equipment to dismantle a McDonald’s branch under construction in Millau, in the foothills of France’s Massif Central mountains.

He has faced repeated trials and been jailed for destroying genetically modified crops.

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