The Classic David vs Goliath Struggle.....
"Monsanto Representatives" Intimidate Farmers with the use of Private Investigators, 1 800 "snitch" lines, and Threatening Letters
Is Monsanto's approach protecting licensed canola users or sheer intimidation of all farmers?
Since Monsanto launched their lawsuit against Percy Schmeiser, information has surfaced in the trial documents about the disregard the Monsanto company representatives had for the Canadian farmer. Monsanto hired retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers working for a firm called Robertson Investigations to conduct "investigations" on farmers that were as a result of rumours, random tests and reports to a 1 800 "snitch" line.
Monsanto encouraged farmers to report any suspicious activity so an investigation could be conducted. The infamous 1 800 "snitch line" that the company proudly advertised on radio stations in western Canada encouraged farmers to report any suspicions that one may have had, pitted farmer against farmer. Due to the public outcry of this approach, Monsanto has since discontinued the 1 800 line.
Monsanto publicly boasted about conducting random tests as they drove by canola fields in the countryside. Monsanto representatives had no respect for property rights as they then stole canola plants that were growing in the farmer's fields or the "right of way" along the road (which are the property of the farmer). Monsanto representatives commented in local newspapers that in their opinion Canadian farmers had no property rights and they were entitled to trespass of farmer's canola fields (without the farmer's permission) to see if their patented canola gene was present in the field.
Even more troubling was the aerial spraying of a Saskatchewan farmer's field.
A farmer, located in central Saskatchewan, had an unexpected visit by Monsanto representatives. They accused the farmer of growing Round Up Ready canola without a license, and this was denied by the farmer and his wife. Shortly thereafter, the couple noticed a spray plane flying over their canola fields, and subsequently, he noticed patches in his field of canola plants that were dead, the result of spray bombs of Round Up dropped in his field.
Monsanto has denied any such involvement in spraying the field, but is this too much of a coincidence? Especially when spraying Round Up by airplane is against the law because of the tendency of the product to drift.
But these efforts of the company and any so called investigation was nothing more than an attempt to intimidate farmers. Personnel from Robertson Investigations would introduce themselves as "former RCMP," trying to lend clout to their position. The Company would spread rumours through chemical retailers that a farmer was going to be investigated, or that legal action was going to be laid against an individual, prior to any action. They were many reports during the trial of Monsanto vs Schmeiser that Monsanto was willing to provide a farmer up to $20,000 of chemical if they testified against Schmeiser during the trial.
Monsanto would send a threatening demand letter as another form of intimidation. This letter provides an example of the lack of respect they had for a Canadian farmer. It had no respect for a Canadian farmer's property rights, or his right to save and reuse their own seed.
Was Monsanto's approach heavy handed and full of intimidation? You decide. Click here to view the letter that Monsanto sent to Canadian farmers. Despite the fact that Monsanto would publish the name of the offending farmer to suit their purpose and intimidate farmers, they required confidentiality on the part of the farmer. Therefore, the farmer's name has been removed to protect him from further action from Monsanto.
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