Opponents of genetically improved foods have been busy in recent days, forming human barricades in front of tractors in the Scottish Isles and destroying countless acres of private cropland in France. The French rampage was perpetrated by followers of Jose Bove’s militant Farmer’s Confederation. Bove and his band of angry men have been responsible for several similar acts of vandalism in recent weeks. Bove became a misanthropic folk hero in 1999, by ransacking a nearly-finished McDonald’s restaurant in the French town of Millau.

In related news, Jane’s Information Group, the international military and intelligence publisher, has issued an alert warning that “militant animal rights activists are now regarded by the British government as a bigger threat to public order than the IRA…or any other such organisation.” Jane’s has previously warned that the United States could be vulnerable to attack from “agricultural terrorists” or “animal rights activists.” Only three months ago, remember, Ingrid Newkirk (president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) discussed foot and mouth disease by asserting: “I openly hope that it comes here. It will bring economic harm only for those who profit from giving people heart attacks and giving animals a concentration camp-like existence. It would be good for animals, good for human health and good for the environment.”