> > The are amazing! I'm ok with genetic modifications as long as they stay in
> > the lab. I just say an article about Monsanto (or who ever makes round up)
> > suing a farmer in Canada for patent infringement for saving his canola
> > of a strain he has been cultivating for years. The problem is the Roundup
> > resistant gene got into his seeds through open pollination but the law is
> > the law and he doesn't have a license to use the gene. He's SOL.
>Wonder if he could file a countersuit for the contamination of his
>heirloom strain which he is now denied the use of? He might just have a
>strong case and plenty of advocates to back him up. Personally I believe
>the law must uphold Monsanto's property rights but this farmer also has
>property rights and is entitled to collect damages for his loss.
>This is an interesting issue. Maybe I should forward this to some others
>and see what they have to say.
Here's more, from another list I'm on;
3. BIOTECH'S PROMISE: A DEFENDANT ON EVERY FARM?
Biotech giant Monsanto is suing the Nelsons, a farm family in North Dakota,
on allegations that they violated their contract by saving Roundup Ready
seed from 1998 and planting them in 1999. Monsanto alleges that Roundup
Ready soybeans were present on more than the
1,500 acres the Nelsons had contracted for in 1999. The Nelsons argue that
they had no reason to save seed from 1998, as those seeds had low yield.
They contracted for a different variety in 1999 and maintain that any
genetically modified plants aside from the 1,500 contract acres must have
resulted from contamination or cross-pollination. In the end, however, it
might not matter how the seed got there. In another lawsuit brought by
Monsanto, a Canadian court recently ordered Saskatechewan farmer Percy
Schmeiser to pay the company $13,000US in damages, and up to $175,000US in
costs. Mr. Schmeiser, who farms conventional seed canola, discovered
resistant canola plants in his fields Despite the fact that there were no
allegations that Mr. Schmeiser deliberately planted the Roundup Ready
canola or that he benefitted from its presence on his land, the court found
in favor of Monsanto. The court ruled that "a farmer whose field contains
seed or plants originating from seed spilled into them.., may own the seed
or plants on his land even if he did not set about to plant them. He does
not, however, own the right to the use of the patented gene, or of the seed
or plant containing the patented gene or cell." In other words Percy's
mistake was to do what he had done all his life - plant the seed that grew
in his fields. Given recent evidence that genetically modified pollen can
easily fertilize non-GM crops over large distances, Monsanto might someday
be able to guarantee a defendant on every farm.
For more info: www.percyschmeiser.com, www.iatp.org
-- Jay DeLong Olympia, WA
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