One of the first GM 'decontaminations' by activists in the UK was carried out in 1999 when two field trials of 115 GM poplar trees were trashed.
The reasons given for this action were blunt:
"those who are manipulating the DNA of trees using a very powerful but dimly understood technology, show contempt for our planet and the life it supports, including human life".
Media warnings were succinct: GM trees could lead to "a silent spring in the forests of the future".
Until the activists struck, Britain was intent on becoming a world leader in GM trees.