Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. Right now, a generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar. That means when you give $10 to Democracy Now!, we'll receive $20. So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Britain Debates Use of Special Police Force to Guard Biotech Crops

StoryAugust 20, 1999
Watch iconWatch Full Show

An article this week in The Independent of London says that British ministers are secretly planning specialist round-the-clock police squads to guard genetically engineered crop trials from environmental protesters.

The move follows pleas for government help from biotechnology companies and farmers running the trials. They say they are unable to protect the crops from protesters’ organized raids.

According to The Independent, the special "GM forces" will be trained in restraint techniques and in ways of protecting the fields from what companies call "eco-warriors." The plans have been discussed in secret meetings in the past several weeks.

Unlike the US, where genetically engineered foods have crept into the supermarket shelves without a hint of public debate, Europe has resisted the introduction of biotechnology into its foods. Recent protests in Britain have drawn hundreds of people to the fields where biotech crops are grown for trials, where the protesters proceed to pull the plants out of the earth. In response, many activists have received court injunctions from biotech giants such as Monsanto, and face huge fines and even jail terms if they trespass onto Monsanto property. These tactics closely mirror the company’s procedures in the United States, where it routinely hires Pinkerton detectives to spy on farmers and sues those it says violated its complicated patent clauses.


  • Melanie Jarman, environmental activist and "crop puller"–she recently received a court injunction from Monsanto for pulling some of its plants in a protest.
  • HUGH WARRICK, Editor of Splice, the magazine of the group Genetics Forum.

Related link:

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation