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FBI Investigating Destruction Of Genetically Modified Beets In Jackson County

OPB | June 20, 2013 4:16 p.m. | Updated: June 21, 2013 8:36 a.m. | Portland

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The FBI says it is investigating the destruction of genetically modified beets in Jackson County.

The FBI says that earlier this month one thousand sugar beet plants were destroyed on one property, and more than 5-thousand were destroyed on another. This happened over the course of two nights.  The crops are privately owned, but leased and managed by Syngenta.

Beth Anne Steele is with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She says the acts in this particular case are viewed as a federal offense.

They are looking at damage to commercial agricultural enterprises. They’re looking at it under that umbrella as they move forward with the investigation they’ll keep all potential options open in terms of motivation and the level of destruction. All those things they could play into any final charges,” she said.

The FBI says the financial losses are “significant,” but has not released specific damage estimates. 

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