Organic Farmer Going to Court Against Monsanto’s GM Crops

You may not have heard of Steve Marsh yet, but this Australian farmer could lose everything to protect your right to eat GM-free food.

Steve is an organic farmer from Kojonup, in Western Australia. In 2010, the Western Australian State Government lifted the moratorium on GM canola/rapeseed, allowing cultivation of this GM crop for the first time. As a result of this change in policy, many farmers, including Steve Marsh’s neighbor, began growing Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) canola/rapeseed. Subsequently Steve’s organic farm was contaminated. As a result of this contamination Steve lost organic certification on 70% of his farm. Steve has since lost a great deal on his premium income and his once profitable livelihood has been decimated.

Contamination cases like this have been happening globally. Widespread contamination from GM canola/rapeseed has already eliminated organic production of this crop in most areas of Canada. Because co-existence is impossible and contamination will happen, GM companies have a compulsory no-liability agreement clause in each of their contracts with GM farmers. In Canada and the U.S., Monsanto has even sued farmers whose crops have been contaminated for having patented seeds on their farms while not paying royalties.

It just doesn’t make any sense. Farmers are responsible for stock or other animals causing damage to a neighbor’s property but in the case of genetic contamination, the non-GM farmer ends up being liable for the loss and damages.

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