French Monsanto Research Site Damaged in Suspected Arson Attack 28th, 2015

 A Monsanto research center in western France suffered heavy fire damage in a suspected arson attack early Wednesday morning, the official in charge of the site said.

The official, Jakob Witten, said police investigators “strongly suspect it was a crime as no electrical or other sources were found.”

 The fire was ignited from two different places at the site, where about 10 people work and which is specialized in corn research. The smell of gasoline lingered near the building, which had heavy damage in its reception hall and offices.

“No Monsanto sites in Europe have so far been the victim of fires of criminal origin, this is unprecedented violence,” Witten said.

However, forty tons of GM sugar beets were torched in Oregon, sparking an FBI investigation, so the sentiment behind this latest arson, if it indeed was an act of violence, is not unprecedented.

The Creve Coeur-based company is the frequent target of criticism in France over concerns about genetically modified crops it has developed.

The government said last month it would use a new European opt-out scheme to ensure a ban on the cultivation of GM crops in France remains in place.