Monday, May 05, 2008

Heil Monsanto!

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

Setting The Stage

Audio courtesy of Andrew Wood, producer of a recent interview of Percy Schmeiser that was conducted in England

Percy Schmeiser
A long time farmer and farm equipment dealer from the small rural community of Bruno Sask. He served as Mayor of the Town of Bruno from 1966-1983 and as a MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) for the Watrous constituency in the Provincial Legislature from 1967-71.

Excerpt from Aug 14, 1999 Vancouver Sun article by Dave Margoshes

"Percy Schmeiser was mad as hell, and decided he wasn't going to take it.

Schmeiser has been growing canola -- the yellow-blossomed oilseed that used to be known as rapeseed -- for 40 years, and he knows his stuff. He's been experimenting, developing his own varieties, using his own seed and generally prospering with canola. reaping the benefits derived from growing an increasingly popular crop.

So when Monsanto, the giant multinational agro-chemical company that is at the forefront of developing genetically modified foods, accused him of patent infringement and demanded restitution for its seeds, his pride was hurt. He chose to fight rather than roll over and take it."


Excerpt from Aug 14, 1999 Vancouver Sun article by Dave Margoshes.

"Monsanto, headquartered in St.Louis, makes the popular herbicide Roundup. Farmers all over the Prairies ---Schmeiser among them --- spray it on their fields, whereupon it kills every-thing growing there. Then they plant.

Using the controversial alchemy of genetic engineering, which has alarmed environmentalists and consumers, Monsanto has developed a canola seed completely immune to Roundup. That means a farmer can spray the herbicide over a planted field, kill all the weeds growing there, but not hurt the crop -- as long as it comes from Monsanto's seed.

The company sells the seed -- about half the canola planted in Saskatchewan this year comes from it -- but keeps the rights to the DNA itself.

It means that, rather than save seeds from last year's crop to use this year, as many do -- and as Schmeiser traditionally does -- farmers have to buy new seed from Monsanto each year.

In order to protect its investment, Monsanto has been vigilant in rooting out frugal farmers who might be cheating and saving seed, or borrowing a bit of seed from neighbours.

Farmers buying Monsanto's seed must sign a contract promising to buy fresh seed every year. And they must let Monsanto inspect their fields."

The Battle

Excerpt from Macleans Magazine May 17, 1999. Article by Mark Nichols

"For 40 years, Percy Schmeiser has grown canola on his farm near Bruno, Sask., about 80 km east of Saskatoon, usually sowing each crop of the oil-rich plants with seeds saved from the previous harvest. And he has never, says Schmeiser, purchased seed from the St. Louis, Mo.-based agricultural and biotechnology giant Monsanto Co. Even so, he says that more than 320 hectares of his land is now "contaminated" by Monsanto's herbicide-resistant Roundup Ready canola, a man made variety produced by a controversial process known as genetic engineering. And, like hundreds of other North American farmer, Schmeiser has felt the sting of Monsanto's long legal arm: last August the company took the 68-year-old farmer to court, claiming he illegally planted the firm's canola without paying a $37-per-hectare fee for the privilege. Unlike scores of similarly accused North American farmers who have reached out-of-court settlements with Monsanto, Schmeiser fought back. He claims Monsanto investigators trespassed on his land -- and that company seed could easily have blown on to his soil from passing canola-laden trucks. "I never put those plants on my land," says Schmeiser. "The question is, where do Monsanto's rights end and mine begin?"

The landmark case, that went before the Federal Court of Canada, has attracted international attention because it could help determine how much control a handful of powerful biotech companies can exert over farmers.



Schmeiser pleased with victory over Monsanto
In an out of court settlement finalized on March 19, 2008, Percy Schmeiser has settled his lawsuit with Monsanto. Monsanto has agreed to pay all the clean-up costs of the Roundup Ready canola that contaminated Schmeiser's fields. Also part of the agreement was that there was no gag-order on the settlement and that Monsanto could be sued again if further contamination occurred. Schmeiser believes this precedent setting agreement ensures that farmers will be entitled to reimbursement when their fields become contaminated with unwanted Roundup Ready canola or any other unwanted GMO plants.


DEN said...

Maybe the hawks out to nuke Iran better look HERE to see the aftermath of their actions as shown in Hiroshima victims.

WARNING! graphic link, not for the sqeamish.

DEN said...

More State sponsored terrorism:

A Summit County Common Pleas judge ordered the county medical examiner to delete any reference that Tasers contributed to the deaths of three Ohio men.

All three men were in an 'agitated' state and 'on drugs' when police officers shot them with Tasers, and the judge ordered their deaths be ruled 'accidental' also that any reference to "homicide or "electrical pulse stimulation" should be deleted from death certificates and autopsy reports."

Judge, jury and executioner

Welcome to friendly Ohio, a great place to raise up yer kids.

David B. Benson said...

Pleased to read of Monsanto's come-uppance in Canada.

But in the US&A, I fear they have more power...

DEN said...

YANGON, Myanmar - The death toll from the cyclone that ravaged Myanmar is expected to top 10,000, a senior official said Monday, with at least 4,000 people already listed as killed and nearly 3,000 others unaccounted for.

Foreign Minister Nyan Win told foreign diplomats at a briefing that the death toll could reach 10,000, according to diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was held behind closed doors.

Tradgedy of biblical proportions

DEN said...

Subject: Final Draft: A few words on why I WANT to work for BHO

Asheville, NC 5/5/08


I don’t want to be here. I really don’t even much like to talk to people I don’t know.

There are lots of things I’d rather be doing.

I’d rather be putting a coat of paint on the grandbabies’ playhouse and watching their amazing imaginations flourish. I'd like to watch them learn the lessons of childhood and grow toward their own bright future.

I’d much rather be with a couple of the sons of this family, pulling fish out of the Wabash or losing golf balls on the Elks course in Sullivan, IN. Two of my girlfriend's kids are firefighters and paramedics and both were skillful and lucky enough to have survived a year in Iraq. Many of their numbers weren’t so lucky to make it home in one piece or even with their lives from places like An Nassirya, Tal Afar, Fallujah, and Baghdad. They’re not really my sons, but they have been nice enough to call me on Fathers’ day.

I’d rather be in Baton Rouge or New Orleans, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, where Jill’s daughter Katie is now working, assisting in the most basic needs of those who cannot get a home without our help.

In two weeks in Ashland, KY, I’d rather be working on repairs to the 100-year-old house at the corner of 9th St. and Bath Ave. that my Dad spent the last 30 years of his life holding together so that my Mom can take it easier for the rest of hers. We've always been big on bailing wire and duct tape.

I’d much rather be paddling down some pristine, hidden river with everything I need for canoe camping for a long weekend. I’d rather be at the beach. I’d rather be on a long cross-country driving vacation, seeing places I’ve only read about or sometimes never even heard of. I’d rather be diving on some coral reef, somewhere…while it is still there.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that if I want these things, if I want the sort of high-quality education for the grandbabies I was lucky enough to have, we have to change things in this country. We must involve REAL teachers in the process of national educational development, not just administrators who know only how to teach the passing of tests.

If brave men and women are to continue to serve their communities saving lives while risking their own, then we must change the way things are going in the whole nation. We need to support the men and women who serve our towns and regions with more than just a flag-waving parade and a pat on the back on certain "patriotic" holidays.

If we’re going to give our older population comfort, health and security in their later years, then we MUST change the systems we created for just that as they continue to deteriorate, much like the physical infrastructure of the roads and bridges I want to be driving on. Duct tape and bailing wire can only do so much for so long.

If I want to someday take those grandbabies down a hidden, pristine river or show them the amazing, alien world of a coral reef as they learn to love the natural world around them, then we MUST absolutely change the recklessly destructive consumptive ways of our own society. By example and leadership we have to change those same habits in the rest of the world and we must begin NOW.

If we want to keep those children and grandchildren safe from the deadly roll of the dice that comes with the insane deployment of our armed forces by the hubris of madmen for nefarious purposes and nothing more than misguided revenge and the accumulation of wealth and control, then we must for now and forever open the doors and windows of our government. Such deadly rot of our national security and international reputation cannot and will not happen in the cleansing light of day.

I came to a conclusion that Barack Obama was the ONLY choice I could make for a strong, experienced, organized leader who had any chance at all to sit in the Oval Office. From there, I believe he will be an inspiration to the people of this country to join with him in a groundswell of the sort community and national involvement that has eluded us in the past couple decades or more.

Only when we citizens take more pride in our neighborhoods and towns will we begin to empower our local, state and federal governments to work for “We the People”. That, after all, is why our governments are formed in the first place, but they seem to have forgotten.

I don’t WANT to be here, but here I am. So give me a bottle of water, a couple granola bars and a Google Map to the “Turfiest” of turfs, and there I’ll go.


p.s. The "Watch Party" Tuesday evening is at the Asheville Brewing Company on Merrimon Ave. That, in itself, is reason to get out, even if you're NOT canvassing.

David B. Benson said...

In the Last Gilded Age, People Stood Up to Greed -- Why Aren’t We?


Saladin said...

DEN you can add the Bayer company to the evil empire list.

Here is an amazing video, you thought the polar bear and dog was cool?

The Leopard and the Baboon