Monsanto vs Schmeiser
The Classic David vs Goliath Struggle.....
Saskatchewan farmer seeks leave to appeal Monsanto ruling to Supreme Court

September 6, 2002
BRUNO, Sask. (CP) -- A Saskatchewan farmer hopes the Supreme Court will overturn a ruling that found he violated Monsanto's patent on herbicide-resistant canola.
    Percy Schmeiser said Friday will seek leave to appeal a Federal Court of Appeal judgment that dismissed arguments that he did not violate the patent on its Roundup Ready canola.

     "We know that we are up against a multi-billion dollar corporation that has deep pockets," Schmeiser said.

     Last year, Schmeiser was ordered to pay $19,000 in damages for unlawfully using the seed and another $153,000 to cover Monsanto's court costs. However, the court rejected a bid by Monsanto to see the damages raised to more than $100,000.
    Schmeiser said Monsanto's patent rights will be the main issue if the high court agrees to hear his appeal.
     Despite his loss in court, Schmeiser has become somewhat of a folk hero among farm and consumer activists around the world who are opposed to genetically modified foods and their use in agriculture.
     "Farmers around the world are very concerned about losing the right to control their own seed," he said.
     The news that he had a further setback in court prompted many people to call him with encouragement and offers to help fund his appeal, he said.
     The 71-year-old farmer said the court fight thus far has been costly.
     "We spent all of our life savings and we mortgaged two- or three-quarters of our land to pay that," he said. "It has cost us a tremendous amount."
     A fund has been established at a bank in nearby Humboldt, Sask. for donations to help pay his legal bills and Schmeiser has a Web site that encourages people to donate.
     While he wouldn't disclose how much has been raised, he said he has received donations as large as $8,000.
     "Now I'll have to go back to the world community and say 'if you want me to fight this, I can. But I need help.' I'm sure those funds will come in."
     Some groups from as far away as Australia have paid Schmeiser to travel to speak to them.
     Although Schmeiser's appeal was rejected on 17 grounds, the farmer was most upset with the comment by federal court judge Andrew MacKay that it did not matter how the Roundup Ready gene got into his field.
     "That's the big issue," said Schmeiser.
     He has argued that either the seed blew into his field from a passing truck or his crop may have been contaminated by pollination.

To view the Appeal Court Decision, click here


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