FBI investigates GE crop destruction
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WASHINGTON, June 20, 2013- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that an unknown person or group of people destroyed two plots of land owned by Syngenta and used to grow genetically engineered sugar beets in Jackson County, Oregon, earlier this month.
Sometime during the night of June 8 the person or people destroyed about 1,000 sugar beet plants on one property, the release noted. Then, during the night of June 11 the person or people destroyed about 5,500 plants on another property.
“The financial losses are significant, but the actual estimates will not be released at this time due to investigative needs,” stated the FBI release. The FBI considers the crime to be economic sabotage and a potential violation of federal law involving damage to commercial agricultural enterprises.
“Such crimes against those in agriculture put everyone at risk-from farmers to consumers-and are an assault on the rights of all law abiding Americans,” according to a statement released by Syngenta.
The group Oregonians for Food and Shelter, of which Syngenta is a member, is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the person and people involved.
The FBI asked that anyone with information call (541) 773-2942 during normal business hours or the FBI in Portland at (503) 224-4181 twenty-four hours a day. Tips may also be emailed into Portland@ic.fbi.gov.
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