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Canadian Farmer Countersued Monsanto Over GMO Crops and Won!

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Percy Schmeiser is a Hero of Sustainable Agriculture

Monsanto sued a Saskatchewan canola farmer when some of their GMO (stands for genetically modified organisms) canola invaded his fields. Percy Schmeiser neither invited, nor wanted such an invasion. Rather than roll over, Percy sued Monsanto for contaminating his field and won an out of court settlement. It was finalized on March 19, 2008 with no gag order, so Percy continues to let other farmers know his story through a terrific website, percyschmeiser.com Here is an audio clip of an interview with Percy.

Percy’s victory for the little guy couldn’t have been any sweeter, in 2004, Percy got a favorable Supreme Court decision. Four years later, when Percy settled on his suit, Monsanto agreed to pay the clean-up costs of the Roundup Ready canola that contaminated Schmeiser’s fields. The judge said that Monsanto could be sued again if further contamination occurred. Schmeiser says this legal precedent ensures that other farmers will be entitled to reimbursement when their fields become contaminated with unwanted Roundup Ready canola or any other unwanted GMO plants.

Percy is also an advocate of seed saving, a farming method which he has practiced for decades. He believes farmers have the right to harvest and reuse their own seeds. To me, that is just frugal farming, and something we all need to defend in a free society.

When corporations get so big and so powerful that they strive to take away our freedoms through the legal system, we need to stand up to that kind of tyranny.  I am glad Percy and his family did just that.

Hartke is Online hereby nominates Percy as a Hero of Sustainable Agriculture!

This post is part of Fight Back Friday on the Food Renegade site. Click here to see more contributions to this blog carnival.

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Comments

  1. Who-hoo! What a victory! I hope lawyers, farmers and Monsanto in the US are sitting up and taking notice. This is really big, really good news!

    Local Nourishment’s last blog post..Bringing the farm to the ferry

  2. Brilliant! I’m glad he did this, and won, and is free to tell others. People like Percy work hard at keeping their crops healthy and don’t need this kind of interferance.

  3. Great post! I RTd on Twitter and am stumbling.

    CHEESESLAVE’s last blog post..GMO Expert, Jeffrey Smith on George Noory’s Coast To Coast

  4. Thanks for this post. I’d always had mixed emotions about Percy’s supreme court ruling b/c it was so divided. Sure, he didn’t have to pay any damages to Monsanto, but the court also ruled that Percy had violated the law by having Monsanto’s plants in his fields — even though it didn’t get there through any effort or desire of his own.

    I think it’s fantastic that he then turned around and sued them for infringing on his fields! And HE WON.

    That’s a great precedent.

    Thanks for submitting this to Fight Back Fridays today!

    Cheers,
    KristenM
    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  5. This is Brad from Monsanto.

    We have a bit different take on this!

    First, Percy was found to have infringed on our patents in the original court case and the subsequent appeals and Supreme Court case. There was no “contamination”. In the words of the Supreme Court:
    “Mr. Schmeiser complained that the original plants came onto his land without his intervention. However, he did not at all explain why he sprayed Roundup to isolate the Roundup Ready plants he found on his land; why he then harvested the plants and segregated the seeds, saved them, and kept them for seed; why he planted them; and why, through his husbandry, he ended up with 1,030 acres of Roundup Ready canola which would have cost him $15,000.”

    You can read more at http://www.monsanto.com/monsanto_today/for_the_record/percy_schmeiser.asp Note that we provide links to the actual court documents, not misleading news stories.

    As far as the “cleanup” to which you refer, Monsanto has a standng stewardship program to remove volunteer RR canola from fields in which it was planted, even when it was planted illegally.

    Brad Mitchell’s last blog post..Video: Monsanto’s Planting Update from the Field – Kansas

    • Kimberly Hartke says:

      Hi Brad–thanks for visiting. I have heard of neighbors fertilizing the heck out of their property boundaries to get greener grass to grow, but have never heard of their more prosperous neighbor coming onto their property to count the blades that grew.

      Interesting to hear your side, though!

      Kimberly

  6. I had heard about Percy’s struggles a while ago (In Earth Path by Starhawk) and wondered what were the results.

    I am very proud of our Canadian Legal system after reading this.

    Honestly the concept of ‘owning’ a gene in a living organism is frightening in it’s ethical and future legal implications, which we can see already occuring in Monsanto’s attempt to monopolize the industry. This court ruling (the second ruling that Percy won) is a nice reality check to huge corporations like Monsanto.

    Thanks for the news 🙂
    Blessings

    EcoYogini’s last blog post..Non-Attachment and Outdoor Yoga Obsession

Trackbacks

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  4. […] to sue farmers who wind up with unwanted contamination. Here is a story about a brave farmer who countersued Monsanto and […]

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