Re: NANFA-- Re:Green florescent Protein Zebrafish

Bruce Stallsmith (
Wed, 20 Jun 2001 09:52:32 -0400


>Schmeiser to pay the company $13,000US in damages, and up to $175,000US in
>costs. Mr. Schmeiser, who farms conventional seed canola, discovered
>volunteer Roundup
>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:,
>Jay DeLong
>Olympia, WA
At this rate, the agribiz companies will make the robber baron railroads of
100 years ago look like populists. Speaking as a biologist, I've noticed
that a lot of biotechnology is heavy on the engineering side and light on
the biology. Does Monsanto hire _any_ biologists, who would know about
pollination processes and the fact that pollen grains carry sperm cells
which _carry genes_? Plants in general are famous for having sloppy
chromosomal recombination capabilities (i.e. genes travel easily), certainly
compared to animals. I think it's obscene that Monsanto's case against these
farmers was even heard by a judge, much less that some idiot judge is
actually ruling against a farmer.
This same type of technology applied to animals isn't as threatening in
terms of quick gene spread, but there are a variety of other possible

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A (maybe our judges are just as ignorant...)

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