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FBI investigating destruction of GMO beet plants in Jackson County

 Posted: 12:30 PM June 20, 2013

The FBI is investigating what it calls "economic sabotage" that damaged two plots of land used to grow genetically engineered sugar beets in Jackson County.

A person or group destroyed plants on two plots of private farmland leased and managed by Syngenta, the FBI said in a news release today.

During the night of June 8, someone destroyed about 1,000 sugar beet plants on one property. During the night of June 11, someone destroyed about 5,500 plants on another property. The financial losses are significant, but the actual estimates will not be released at this time because of the needs of the investigation, authorities said.

The FBI described this crime as economic sabotage and said it is a violation of federal law involving damage to commercial agricultural enterprises.

The group Oregonians for Food and Shelter is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the person and people involved.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 541-773-2942 during normal business hours or the FBI's Portland office at 503-224-4181 24 hours a day. Tips may also be emailed to

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