A gun battle left two dead last week at a Brazilian farm owned by the agricultural biotechnology firm Syngenta. The plantation, in the state of Parana, has been at flashpoint since some 300 activists, protesting against genetically modified crops, first invaded the farm in March 2006 and Syngenta hired guards to protect it.
The shoot-out left one activist and one guard dead, with four more injured on each side, according to news agency reports. A Syngenta spokesman described it as ?a quite dramatic and violent confrontation?. The guards' contract does not authorize them to use weapons.
Although Brazilian law allows some transgenic crops to be grown, the Parana state government has outlawed genetically modified corn and repeatedly attempted to shut the farm down.