The Classic David vs Goliath Struggle.....
Harassment Continues to Intensify
Fresh from it's battle with Percy Schmeiser, Monsanto is set to tangle with any farmer who they allege has illegally grown Round ready canola.
It appears many other western Canadian farmers are facing harassment from Monsanto. Monsanto had already declared war on Saskatchewan farmers immediately after their judgment against Percy Schmeiser, but it appears their approach now is to the extreme.
Schmeiser has received hundreds of phone calls from farmers who are facing similar circumstances. Monsanto representatives have threatened and pressured these farmers with demand letters. Their approach borders on the extreme, as many of the farmers who have called Schmeiser are in the same circumstances; they never signed any contracts with Monsanto, nor wanted to use their product, however, Monsanto says their canola fields have traces of their Round-Up Ready canola and they must pay.
After discussion with farmers and respective legal counsel, one can argue that Monsanto is try to use extortion. Monsanto is targeting farmers who have not signed their technology use contract. Monsanto sends intimidating letters to these farmers, (see below) and using the Schmeiser case as a foundation, they try and extort money from the farmer. (See other letters: Letter #1 & Letter #2).
You can argue that Monsanto is after a cash grab when confronting farmers. They determine the amount of acres in question, they determine the profits acceptable to them, and then try and force a settlement from the farmer.
What is a farmer to do? It may be in their best interests to negotiate and pay a lesser sum to Monsanto, as opposed to going to the court system to prove their innocence. Keep in mind that the lower court decision against Schmeiser said that it didn't matter how the Round-Up Ready canola got into Schmeiser's fields...Monsanto was entitled to damages because of patent infringement. Although the Supreme Court of Canada overturned this and Schmeiser was successful in this one respect (the Court determined that he didn't profit from Monsanto's technology and that he didn't have to pay them anything) one can argue that Monsanto still uses a big hammer to go after anyone who they may feel may have potentially had their technology appear.
It is obvious that Monsanto will still use force and intimidation on farmers to use Round-Up Ready canola and sign a TUA. The risk of not doing so could open the farmer to a patent infringement lawsuit from Monsanto.
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