An electric fence wasn’t up to the task of protecting a field of genetically engineered trees in New Zealand.
Twenty of the modified pine trees were cut down last week, and a spade left behind bearing a telltale “GE Free New Zealand” sticker.
The New Zealand Herald reports that a hole dug under the Scion Research fence was all it took for the attackers to gain access to the field, which was planted to investigate tree reproduction.
An activist group, the Soil and Health Association, had previously called for the trees to be cut down, but said it was not responsible for the attack.
A spokesman for the group told the Herald that Scion’s security measures were inadequate, leading not only to the incursion by humans, but also to the potential removal of experimental genetic material from the site by rabbits.
“Attack on genetically modified trees”
New Zealand Press Association, January 16, 2008