The Future of Food

“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job.''
– Phil Angell, Monsanto's Director of Corporate Communications, New York Times 10/25/98

The Future of Food (trailer) is a pretty scary movie to watch. One of the most astonding points in it was the case where monsanto sued a small family farmer for patent infringement because GM canola was found on his property.

para 60 Mr. Schmeiser is a conventional, non-organic farmer. For years, he had a practice of saving and developing his own seed. The seed which is the subject of Monsanto's complaint can be traced to a 370-acre field, called field number 1, on which Mr. Schmeiser grew canola in 1996. In 1996 five other canola growers in Mr. Schmeiser's area planted Roundup Ready Canola.

para 61  In the spring of 1997, Mr. Schmeiser planted the seeds saved on field number 1. The crop grew. He sprayed a three-acre patch near the road with Roundup and found that approximately 60 percent of the plants survived. This indicates that the plants contained Monsanto's patented gene and cell.

para 62 In the fall of 1997, Mr. Schmeiser harvested the Roundup Ready Canola from the three-acre patch he had sprayed with Roundup. He did not sell it. He instead kept it separate, and stored it over the winter in the back of a pick-up truck covered with a tarp.

The ruling stated …. “that in 1998 Mr. Schmeiser planted canola seed saved from his 1997 crop in his field number 2 which he knew or ought to have known was Roundup tolerant”

Which is true, but he didn't buy any roundup ready canola. Doesn't matter. He was growing it, and he didn't have a license.

Para 86 Further, the appellants did not provide sufficient evidence to rebut the presumption of use. It may well be
that defendant farmers could rebut the presumption by showing that they never intended to cultivate plants containing the patented genes and cells. They might perhaps prove that the continued presence of the patented gene on their land was accidental and unwelcome, for example, by showing that they acted quickly to arrange for its removal, and that its concentration was consistent with that to be expected from unsolicited “blow-by” canola.

(My emphasis)

“by showing that they acted quickly to arrange for its removal' And just how are you supposed to remove a GM variety of a plant, in a field of all non-GM modified plants? Spray roundup? Nope – its immune. Well then, some other kind of poison – except it'd kill the whole field. Would the farmer then be able to sue for damages?

Fuckers. All of them.

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