Schmeiser Case Settles in Vicotry for Food Security!

March 20, 2008 at 3:13 pm Leave a comment

canola plantA small claims case between Percy Schmeiser and Monsanto has been settled. This is huge news for the anti-GMO movement because the Schmeisers have been struggling through legal battle after legal battle after Monsanto, a biotech ag corporation, first sued the Canadian farmer when it was discovered that some of the canola plants found in the Schmeisers fields was a patented variety owned by Monsanto. Monsanto sued for patent infringement, but that raises the question, can life be patented? Schmeiser’s fields were not intentionally planted with the Monsanto seed, they were pollinated by wind, a natural, uncontrollable effect. Schmeiser reports harassment, threats and continued legal attacks.

A significant part of the agreement is that there was no gag-order imposed on the settlement and that Monsanto could be sued again if further contamination occurred.

When farmers use Monsanto products, such as Round Up pesticide and “Round Up Ready” seeds, which are genetically modified to tolerate heavy doses of the pesticide, they inadvertently agree to succumb to all sorts of stipulations Monsanto puts on the use of their products. Simply opening a bag of Monsanto seed prohibits the farmer from saving the seeds from that crop for the next year. The farmer must, then, purchase new seeds every year. Schmeiser has argued that this arrangement has brought the profession of farming back to a feudal system where the corporation is the lord. This raises questions about our own food security. The very basis of our modern civilization is agriculture and we are putting those building blocks in the hands of giant corporations.

Find out more about Monsanto’s “Technology Use Agreements” at this helpful site.

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Entry filed under: Food Politics, Sustainability. Tags: , , , .

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