Fifty four activists who destroyed a field of genetically modified vines in eastern France in 2010 were acquitted by a court of appeal on Wednesday after the Judge declared that the state should never have allowed the plantation of such vines in an open area. Good to know for the 11 field liberators that will appear in the court of appeal in Ghent next June 3rd. Remember that also the Wetteren potato field had been declared ILLEGAL by a judge in August 2012 (read here more (in French)).

 

French anti-GM protestors walk free after destroying vineyard

Checking grapes for harvest

Checking grapes for harvest

Reuters/Regis Duvignau
By RFI

Fifty four activists who destroyed a field of genetically modified vines in eastern France in 2010 were acquitted by a court of appeal on Wednesday after the Judge declared that the state should never have allowed the plantation of such vines in an open area.

The judges ruled that ministerial authorisation to allow a government research body, INRA (National Institute for Agronomic Research), to test out the crops in an area which was surrounded by other vineyards was “illegal”.

The court pronounced that there was “a clear failure to appreciate the inherent risks” of such an experiment in an unconfined space and criticised the lack of a “real study” about the impact of the GM vines.

“It’s remarkable, this is the first time we have won an appeal” said a jubilant Jean-Pierre Frick, one of the spokespeople for the group of activists.

At the hearing in March, lawyers for the agriculture ministry had called for the activists to be fined and at an earlier trial in 2011, most of the activists were given two month suspended prison sentences and some were also fined 1200 euros.

 

source http://www.english.rfi.fr/visiting-france/20140515-french-anti-gm-protestors-walk-free-after-destroying-vineyard