Did Monsanto wrongly sue this farmer for accidentally growing patented GMO canola?

Percy Field
Percy Schmeiser

Often, the first thing I hear is “isn’t that the case where someone got sued because seed blew onto his field?” I was recently reminded that it was 20 years ago that the case [Monsanto V. Schmeiser] went to trial …. The Supreme Court’s decision in the case remains the leading authority on the validity and enforceability of patents directed to genes and cells of plants, providing agribusiness with protection for the significant investment to bring new technologies to market.

[Editor’s note: Trent Horne is an intellectual property attorney in Canada.]

Roundup Ready canola was first made commercially available to Canadian farmers in 1996 …. Monsanto alleged that Percy Schmeiser, a farmer in Bruno Saskatchewan, obtained the seed without a license in 1997, grew a few acres of it, and used the progeny of that crop to plant 1,000 acres of commercial grade Roundup Ready canola in 1998. Mr. Schmeiser …. said that the seed must have blown onto his land or got there through some other means beyond his knowledge or control.

Related article:  Does glyphosate cause cancer? Jury says says 'yes' but years of research show the herbicide is safe

In a decision released the following March, Justice MacKay found for Monsanto. He concluded that none of the sources suggested by Mr. Schmeiser could reasonably explain the concentration or extent of Roundup Ready canola on his fields.

The trial decision was upheld by …. the Supreme Court of Canada in a 5-4 decision released in 2004 …. [M]any observers remained unconvinced, and continued to support Mr. Schmeiser. Opposition to GMOs continued, with the Schmeiser case acting as a lighting rod for the issue.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend