ananova | 27.04.2002 12:08 | Bio-technology
Northern Constabulary arrested the three men and two women on breach of the peace and vandalism charges after the GM crops at Munlochy in the Highlands were damaged.
The field, at Roskill Farm on the Black Isle, which is involved in trials of GM oilseed rape, was also attacked last weekend, between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
About five acres of the controversial crop were damaged on that occasion and police inquiries are ongoing.
The area of damage at the crop trial site is "being assessed", a police spokesman said.
He added that the men arrested were aged 21, 31 and 40, and the remaining two were women, aged 46 and 47. He said all five are still in police custody and due to appear at Dingwall Sheriff Court on Monday.
The crop trials have attracted considerable criticism in the Scottish Parliament both from the SNP and from Green MSP Robin Harper.
SNP leader John Swinney accused ministers of treating Scotland as a "live laboratory" during First Minister's Questions this week by permitting the field trials.
He challenged Executive arguments that ministers have no legal grounds for banning the trials.
Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace, standing in for First Minister Jack McConnell, rejected the charge and insisted scientific advisers had said there was no risk.
Story filed: 10:10 Saturday 27th April 2002