spacer Monsanto vs Schmeiser
The Classic David vs Goliath Struggle.....

NGO's seek standing in Monsanto v. Schmeiser

OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - Today, a coalition of NGOs, led by the Council of Canadians,
applied to intervene in the patent infringement case involving Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser
and biotechnology giant Monsanto that will be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Federal Court of Appeal found that Schmeiser had infringed on Monsanto's patent rights to
genetically engineered canola. The Supreme Court has granted Schmeiser the right to appeal that ruling.
Intervener status would allow the Council of Canadians and its coalition partners to make submissions
to the Supreme Court countering Monsanto's arguments.      

	"This will be the first time that an appellate court anywhere in the world will consider what infringement 
means on a patent to a genetically modified life form" says Steven Shrybman, the lawyer representing the
coalition. "The Court's decision is likely to have a considerable impact on both the domestic and 
international debate about patents to life."    
	The coalition also involves Canadian organizations such as the Sierra Club of Canada and the National 
Farmers Union.    
	"This case is far greater than just Percy Schmeiser," says Terry Boehm of the National Farmers Union.     
	Given the level at which Monsanto's GE canola has contaminated Western Canada, the implied liability
for all Canadian farmers is enormous. We simply cannot allow the current verdict against Schmeiser to
	The precedence associated with this ground-breaking case has also attracted key international groups
 to the coalition. These include the Action group on Erosion, Technology, and Concentration, the
Washington-based International Center for Technology Assessment, and the Research Foundation
for Science, Technology and Ecology, led by renowned Indian environmentalist Dr. Vandana Shiva.    
	"If other jurisdictions were to follow the approach adopted by the Federal Court of Appeal in this case,
the result would undermine the seed-saving practices of hundreds of million of farmers whose livelihoods
depend on this practice. Moreover, because seed saving fosters biodiversity and increases productivity,
any new constraint on the practice of saving seeds is likely to harm both goals," says Dr. Shiva.    
	"Unfortunately, a policy and regulatory vacuum continues to exist in Canada when it comes to
biotechnology and genetically engineered foods," adds Nadège Adam of the Council of Canadians.
	"This is yet another example of how our government has dropped the ball on these issues."

    	The case is expected to be heard by the Supreme Court on January 20, 2004.

For further information: Laura Sewell, Media Officer, Council of 
Canadians : (613) 233-4487 ext. 234 or (613) 795-8685

If you believe in this important cause, your assistance in funding the appeal would be greatly appreciated.

You can make a donation online here

Or if you prefer, please send a check or money order to:

"Fight Genetically Altered Food Fund Inc."
Box 3743,  Humboldt SK Canada SOK 2AO