The GM crop at Vivaro, near the northeastern town of Pordenone, has been at the centre of a storm for the last two weeks, after the farmer who planted the maize, Giorgio Fidenato, announced it was ready to be harvested.
Some 70 activists, dressed alike in white overalls, were able to stomp on all the plants before police arrived and dragged them away, a spokesman for the Ya Basta anti-GM group said.
“Our action was aimed against the violence that GM crops wreak on the environment and on humans,” said Luca Tornatore.
Despite widespread opposition to GM crops by most Italian farmers, the action was nevertheless roundly condemned by all. Pro-biotech group Futuragra said the raid was “an act of vandalism” and the result of “terror sown by the media” against GM crops. Farmers’ union Coldiretti, which actively campaigns for organic agriculture, blasted the anti-globalists, saying that “the law must always be respected”.