Percy Schmeiser, a long time farmer and farm equipment dealer from the small rural community of Bruno Saskatchewan has been growing canola -- the yellow-blossomed oilseed that used to be known as rapeseed -- for 40 years, and he knows his stuff. He's been experimenting, developing his own varieties, using his own seed and generally prospering with canola. reaping the benefits derived from growing an increasingly popular crop.
So when Monsanto, the giant multinational agro-chemical company that is at the forefront of developing genetically modified foods, accused him of patent infringement and demanded restitution for its seeds, his pride was hurt. He chose to fight rather than roll over and take it."
Excerpt from Aug 14, 1999 Vancouver Sun article by Dave Margoshes.
"Monsanto, headquartered in St.Louis, makes the popular herbicide Roundup. Farmers all over the Prairies ---Schmeiser among them --- spray it on their fields, whereupon it kills every-thing growing there. Then they plant.
Using the controversial alchemy of genetic engineering, which has alarmed environmentalists and consumers, Monsanto has developed a canola seed completely immune to Roundup. That means a farmer can spray the herbicide over a planted field, kill all the weeds growing there, but not hurt the crop -- as long as it comes from Monsanto's seed.
The company sells the seed -- about half the canola planted in Saskatchewan this year comes from it
-- but keeps the rights to the DNA itself.
It means that, rather than save seeds from last year's crop to use this year, as many do -- and as Schmeiser traditionally does -- farmers have to buy new seed from Monsanto each year.
In order to protect its investment, Monsanto has been vigilant in rooting out frugal farmers who might be cheating and saving seed, or borrowing a bit of seed from neighbors.
Farmers buying Monsanto's seed must sign a contract promising to buy fresh seed every year.
And they must let Monsanto inspect their fields."
[Cromag Editorial - Basically Monsanto illegally went on his property and sprayed his crops with Roundup and when the crop didn't die they knew it was from their genetically engineered seed. Even though the seeds were blown onto the land from passing trucks, the first Judge ruled that Percy Schmeiser had to pay Monsanto!
This landmark case, that went before the Federal Court of Canada, has attracted international attention because it could help determine how much control a handful of powerful biotech companies can exert over farmers.
Click HERE to read more.
"In an out of court settlement finalized on March 19, 2008, Percy Schmeiser has settled his lawsuit with Monsanto. Monsanto has agreed to pay all the clean-up costs of the Roundup Ready canola that contaminated Schmeiser's fields. Also part of the agreement was that there was no gag-order on the settlement and that Monsanto could be sued again if further contamination occurred. Schmeiser believes this precedent setting agreement ensures that farmers will be entitled to reimbursement when their fields become contaminated with unwanted Roundup Ready canola or any other unwanted GMO plants."