- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 10, 2002

PARIS Veteran French anti-globalization campaigner Jose Bove was back in court in Paris last week in an attempt to avoid a jail term of several months for uprooting genetically modified crops.
The 49-year-old farmers union leader took his case to the high appellate Cour de Cassation after a lower appeals court upheld his conviction and sentenced him to six months in jail for destroying rice plants at an agricultural research station in Montpellier in 1999.
The lower court also revoked the suspension of another eight-month prison term that Bove was given in 1998 for a similar raid, meaning he faces 14 months in jail.
The Cour de Cassation is to issue its verdict Nov. 19.
Pressing for an acquittal, Bove's attorney, Claire Waquet, said his actions took place in the legally accepted context of a "state of necessity," because no one knows the true dangers posed by genetically modified crops.
The state attorney urged the court to reject the argument, saying that no "state of necessity" existed because there had been no imminent threat to Bove's life and health.
Two weeks ago, Bove was fined the equivalent of $3,000 by another court for an attack on a genetically modified crop in April 2000. He and other activists say such food poses hazards to humans and the environment.
Bove also spent a month and a half behind bars this year for his 1999 demolition of a McDonald's outlet to protest fast food and punitive U.S. farm tariffs.


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