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French court imposes fine for GMO destruction

A French criminal court in Beziers has fined French MEP José Bové €1,500 ($2,029) for uprooting genetically modified maize plants in a field in 2007, reports French newswire Agrisalon.com. The prosecutor had asked the court for a fine of €12,000 ($16,232). But the judge chose to alleviate the seriousness of the action by reclassifying it from “organised destruction” to “slight voluntary degradation”. Other trials against the MEP for similar acts opened a debate last year on the question of the immunity of an MEP ( Agrow No 577, p 15). Under the GMO Act included in the government’s environmental initiative, the Grenelle de l'Environment, such acts could result in criminal sanctions of up to three and a half years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to €150,000 ($202,905).

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