Asscientists, we do not claim to have all the answers. However, our scientificcommunity must be able to conduct regulated and approved trials and experimentswithout the threat of vandalism hanging over them. Everyone involved in allsides of the GM debate wants answers to questions. We will only get these bycompleting the research.
We understand that some people do not agree with this research and we support and encourage our funded scientists to engage with a range of views around their work. I hope that the critics of the Rothamsted trial will now be willing to engage the scientists in a discussion about their specific concerns – but without leaving the threat of vandalism of their work hanging over them.
We are pleased that the protest in Rothamsted Park this afternoon has been peaceful and that both supporters and opponents had the chance to make their voices heard. We have worked closely with the Hertfordshire Constabulary and are very grateful for their support to protect any illegal damage to our experiments and facilitating this peaceful protest.
The police and security response was necessary to prevent the destruction of our work and, with the constant threats to 'decontaminate' our experiment as well as the vandalism last weekend, it was important to ensure a safe afternoon for our staff, visitors and protestors alike. We hope we can now proceed with this BBSRC-funded project without any further threats to find some answers to the question of reducing the use of harmful insecticides in wheat crops, benefitting future generations and the environment.