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Activists held in 'Frankenfood' spuds raid

TT/Rebecca Martin · 24 May 2011, 14:28

Published: 24 May 2011 14:28 GMT+02:00

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“It is tragic that the Swedish state uses the police to let the company carry on with the planting of this hazardous GM-potato while other countries ban the crop," said Patrik Eriksson, head of the Greenpeace campaign, in a statement on Tuesday.

The activists had been chained to the barn near Vojakkala since Thursday last week but on Tuesday morning police used an angle grinder to remove them.

They were then carried, one by one, to a police van and were taken to the police station in Haparanda.

According to local police they will be charged with arbitrary conduct and trespassing.

“We have brought nine of them in. We asked them if they would come willingly but they declined. But they didn’t really resist us so all went well,” police officer Ulf Wallin said to local paper Norrbottenskuriren.

All nine activists were released after the interrogation pending charges.

The activists had been protesting against the planned introduction of the controversial and genetically modified Amflora potato, owned by German company BASF Plant Science, in the area.

According to Greenpeace, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have found that the gene added to Amflora could constitute a threat against the antibiotics used to combat global diseases like tuberculosis.

“Several countries like France, Hungary and Poland have sued the EU commission for approving this potato because of its antibiotic-resistant gene and because of their insufficient risk assessment,“ said Eriksson, who was on the site, to news agency TT.

Story continues below…

Potato farmer Mattias Laitamaa who is the owner of the barn was pleased when police managed to move the activists from his property.

“I am glad that I can finally get back to work. I am just hoping that there aren’t going to be any more activists turning up,” he said to the local Norrbottenskuriren daily.

Amflora was approved by the European Commission for use in industrial applications in the European Union market in March 2010. The potato is authorised for glue or papermaking, but not human consumption.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:10 May 24, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
They should protest anent the introduction of chrysler tattoys an' not of gm tattoys. the fust ones am as lousy as the second ones, but they enjoy a be'ah nerm.an' arr, we yav naaa tattoys, we aa tattoys to-die. naither swedish, nor germans, nor finns, nor whatever, we jusd doe yav potetoes to-die.
16:38 May 24, 2011 by Nemesis
There is a reason these potatoes have been banned in a lot of countries.

They decrease the effecttiveness of antibiotics in humans.

This will hit Sweden hard as other countries will not want imports from Sweden if this is allowed to continue.
17:05 May 24, 2011 by Swedesmith
Monsanto tuber alles.
17:43 May 24, 2011 by Rick Methven
you got it in one.

Good news for the farmer planting the GM crop is that Monsanto has a pesticide that will kill everything around it and leave the potatoes unharmed.

Bad news for the farmer the plants are sterile and you have to buy next years seed from Monsanto

Bad news for his neighbours, it will kill all his crop when the wind blows. When Monsanto come to investigate, they will discover that some of their seeds have been found growing on their land and Monsanto will sue them for illegal sowing of patented seed
08:36 May 25, 2011 by karex
Most people don't realize the implications of patented foodstuffs, especially when the food in quesiton is an agressive organism that takes over everything else it its vicinity. Half of the world is already starving. When this sh** spreads they will enforce the patents, charge whatever fortune they want for an apple or potato and the rest of the world will starve as well.

I have read that in some South American countries this sh** was discovered high up in the mountains where no one has ever taken any seeds. In the course of the investigation to find out how this could have happened, they discovered that Monsanto has been hiring airplane pilots to force-seed people's farms without their knowledge or consent. When the seeds wipe out the previous crop and take over instead, Monsanto sweeps in and starts the lawsuits. The poor farmer had no idea he had "patented" crops growing in his fields and is at a loss to explain how they got there in the first place. And most of these farmers don't have a chance against teams of corporate lawyers.

This behaviour is tantamount to extortion. Had Bin Laden pointed a missile at Monsanto he would have done a world a service.
08:44 May 25, 2011 by Stickeroo
Can anyone translate what the first post says???
08:58 May 25, 2011 by Rick Methven
J L Belmar has always been borderline barmy, seem like he finally flipped
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