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Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser speaks of his battle with GMO giant Monsanto

r2r | 30.10.2008 12:48 | Bio-technology | Ecology | Social Struggles | World

Percy Schmeiser is a Canadian farmer who has been sued by agricultural chemical and biotech giant Monsanto after some of Monsanto's genetically engineered Roundup Ready genes drifted onto his property from neighboring farms and contaminated his crop. Mr. Schmeiser, who is now 70 years old, has traveled the world speaking to a wide variety of audiences about his experience.

This audio was recorded at Lincoln University (23rd Oct '08) during Percys recent UK speaking tour.

Other venues were also recorded including Norwich, Driffield and Dorset. A video DVD of much of this tour will be available in the coming months.

Keep an eye on the GM Free Cymru website for details.


In 1997, Monsanto's genetically modified “Roundup Ready Canola” plants were found in Percy Schmeiser's field. In spring 1998, before Schmeiser planted his 1998 crop, he was informed that Monsanto believed that he had grown Roundup Ready canola in 1997. In the summer of 1998 the canola in Schmeiser's fields was found to be Roundup Ready canola. After this, Monsanto sued Schmeiser for patent infringement.

For the next several years, the case travelled through the Canadian court system. Meanwhile, Schmeiser became an international symbol and spokesperson for the movement against the genetic engineering of food. He accepted speaking engagements, and received donations for his defense fund, from around the world. Ultimately, a Supreme Court 5-4 ruling found in favor of Monsanto of their patent being valid and if there was infringement. Often misinterpreted, the decision was relatively limited.

The publicity around the case focused on whether Monsanto would be held responsible for “genetic engineering crop contamination”. This issue was, in explicit fact, not considered by the courts. The patent infringement finding was based solely on the determination that Schmeiser had recognized the cross-contamination, and knowingly went on to collect the crossbred seed, then replant and harvest it the next year. No punitive damages or the costs of the technology use fee were awarded to Monsanto, as the Supreme Court also ruled 9-0 in Schmeiser's favor that his profits were exactly the same with or without the presence of the Roundup Ready Canola.



More percy here

30.10.2008 12:59

That's great. There is also some video of Percy which has been transcribed into many languages.



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  1. Great guy — James