FBI Calls Destruction of GMO Crop Sabotage
By Oregon Family Farm Association
The destruction of two genetically-engineered sugar beet crops in Jackson County has been called economic sabotage and a violation of federal law by the FBI. In overnight acts of vandalism in two separate fields on June 8 and 11, about 6,500 sugar beets were destroyed, totaling over $50,000 in economic losses. The fields are leased from private owners and managed by Swiss multinational biotech corporation Syngenta AG, which leases several fields in Jackson County to grow genetically-engineered sugar beet seed plants.
Oregon Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Katy Coba issued a statement saying “To my knowledge, this is the first time someone has deliberately taken the cowardly step of uprooting high value plants growing in our state. Regardless of how one feels about biotechnology, there is no justification for committing these crimes and it is not the kind of behavior we expect to see in Oregon agriculture.” Chris Hardy, a founding member of GMO-Free Jackson County, also condemned the actions. His group led a petition drive to ban GMO’s in Jackson County. The measure will be on the ballot in May 2014.
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