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French court convicts GMO mowers

A French court of appeal at Versailles has convicted 53 people to three-month suspended sentences for destroying field trials on Monsanto’s genetically modified maize lines, reports French newswire Agrosalon.com. The trials were destroyed in 2007 at Poinville in the Eure-et-Loir region. A trial court had earlier acquitted the mowers. The appeal court awarded Monsanto material damages of €10,000 ($14,500) and moral damages of €1,000 ($1,450). The company had claimed €1.3 million ($1.9 million) in material and €30,000 ($43,500) in moral damages. In January 2009, a French criminal court sentenced eight GMO activists to three months in prison and fined them €5,000 ($7,250 at the current rate) for having destroyed 11 ha of Monsanto's GM insect-resistant MON810 maize in 2007 ( Agrow No 560, p 11).

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