Statement by the Voluntary Defendants at the trial of the 11 anti-GM potato activists of Wetteren

We, European citizens of various backgrounds, professions, ages and genders, participated in the “great potato swap” in Wetteren on May 29, 2011, either by being present at this public and non-violent action, or by disseminating information about it, or by supporting the means of action taken. That is why we ask today to be judged together with the 11 persons called to appear in front of the court on 15 January 2013.

Together we wanted to show that we do not need these varieties of GM potatoes, as healthy and inexpensive varieties resistant to potato blight are already available.

We also wanted to denounce the authorities who force EU citizens to accept unwanted GM food from the laboratory on their plates and in their fields. The health and environmental impacts of GMOs have been insufficiently researched.
Lastly, we oppose the ongoing privatisation and monopolisation of food production that make crops patentable and leads to the international food markets being dominated by only a handful of corporations.

We regret that scientific research is deprived of the public funding it requires, and denounce the fact that scientific institutions therefore become dependent on multinational corporations who are only interested in profit, regardless of public health, socio-economic or environmental concerns.

Whether we were present in Wetteren or not, we all assume responsibility for this action, as we are convinced that the world does not need a drive for ever greater productivity benefiting only a few, but instead needs research conducted in the interest of the common good.

That is why we will also be present at the court of Dendermonde, in the hope that the court will recognise our right to voluntarily be judged alongside the defendants.


4 January 2012

The Voluntary Defendants


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