In the night between 14 and 15 August, sixty reapers and harvesters destroyed the 70 plants of the experimental field of the Institut National de Recherche Agronomique (INRA) in Colmar. After entering into the ground at about 5 am they started to destroy the biotech variety, then they alerted the media.
The same variety, planted in 2005, had been sabotaged in 2009.
The director of the INRA at Colmar Jean Masson says that after the previous attack, at a cost of 16,000 euros, the researchers were able to re-graft the cut plants. This time however, with great regret, he announces that it will be very difficult to save the project since the trees were also uprooted [unwittingly providing an interesting suggestion to Night mowers].
After the attack of 2009, for which a man was sentenced to a fine of $ 2000, INRA had taken several precautions to protect the site: a double fence, military barbed wire, an intruder alarm and cctv camera system that would have prevented further acts of vandalism.
The alarm worked, but the reapers closed themselves in the field with chains and took time to eradicate it. The police arrived 10 minutes after the break in, but were unable to do anything decisive. The mowers were taken to the police station of Colmar and interrogated before being released.
In 2007 France introduced the "crime of mowing" involving a tightening of penalties from simple damage. The introduction of this repressive tool is, however, crippled by the environment that gave birth to it: in fact it refers only to the mowing of GM maize, which has been widespread in these years, not the destruction of other biotech varieties.