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Why did the chicken cross the road?

Babs | 08.05.2002 16:26 | Ecology | Free Spaces | Health | Technology

On Tuesday 7th, people dressed as chickens took to the fields to demonstrate their concerns about the safety of GMO's. The free ranging chicks decended on one of the trial sites that has recently been planted with the GM maize variety known as Chardon LL (or T25).

Why did the chicken cross the road?
Why did the chicken cross the road?

Chicken Action Report - 7th May On Tuesday 7th, people dressed as chickens took to the fields to demonstrate their concerns about the safety of GMO's and to take direct (if some what symbolic) action to remove the just a little of that threat from the countryside. These free ranging chicks descended on one of the recently planted farmscale trial sites near Littlemoor. Seeds were plucked from the ground and bagged up to send to Aventis, the multinational biotech company responsible for the mutant maize.    In a theatrical 'die-in', the unfortunate chickens then fell to the ground to represent the results of an experiment in which twice as many chickens died when fed the GM maize as those that were feed on conventional maize. The results of this two year old experiment have recently re-emerged as a result of a public hearing into the commercialisation of the Aventis' GM maize variety Chardon LL (T25) - a fodder maize intended as a cattle feed that has been genetically modified to be resistant to Aventis' own herbicide (Glufosinate). Chardon LL is the only GM variety currently going through the approval process for commercialisation in the UK. If given the go-ahead, this GM maize could, within a just a couple of years, be growing on a massive scale all over the UK and Europe despite the wish of the public who want GM crops banned.    Police arrived late and found the chickens enjoying a more palatable picnic of organic salad and pakoras. The farmer Charles Foot turned up to speak the police and it is also reported that the land owner Mike Jones also appeared but stayed in the background. One police officer informed the chickens that they might fall foul of the law and seemed somewhat confused when the gathered flock fell about in laughter. Threats of arrest for Agrevated Tresspass were ignored (such charges would be tottally inabrobriate and would never stick) and the chickens proceded at their own pace. There were no arrests and a small but symbolic area of Dorset was decontaminated of GM maize. No doubt it will not be the last such decontamination in the area. Last year, all five farmscale trials were damaged or destroyed before harvest. (see also - Where's Swampy?)

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