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genetic engineering

Welsh GM crop pullers found guilty 4/3/2003

On 2 April at Mold Crown Court a jury returned a verdict of "guilty" on two women Yvonne Davies and Rowan Tilly for their part in an action to keep Wales a GM-free zone. Defendant Yvonne Davies of Carmarthen said: "I am disappointed with the verdict but nevertheless I took my action with the support of the
people of Wales. With the threat of commericalisation around the corner we
must keep giving a clear message that Wales will not accept GM crops."
The court heard that in July 2001 following a public meeting at
Connah's Quay Town Hall, about a hundred and fifty people, including the two
women, took part in a protest march against the last remaining GM trial
site in Wales.

The site was hosted by Mr. Cottle on Birchenfields Farm, Sealand in
Flintshire but the GM crops belonged to the biotech corporation Aventis
Crop Sciences (now Bayer). Undeterred by police and some aggressive
security guards, about forty people went onto the site and peacefully set
about pulling up the GM maize crop.

The two women took responsibility for their action stating that they
acted to protect the crops of other farmers, public health and the
environment from the dangers posed by GM crops.

Yvonne Davies was fined 400 and Rowan Tilly was fined 750 but no
order was made for court costs nor compensation to Aventis. The people in
the public gallery expressed disbelief and outrage upon the verdict.
Rowan Tilly has resolved to refuse to pay her fine on grounds of
principle.

Defendant Yvonne Davies of Carmarthen said: "I am disappointed with the
verdict but nevertheless I took my action with the support of the
people of Wales. With the threat of commericalisation around the corner we
must keep giving a clear message that Wales will not accept GM crops."