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Court Rules Against Farmer
Percy Schmeiser

http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/front/RTGAM/20020906/wmonsan
to0906/Front/homeBN/breakingnews
POSTED AT 12:08 AM EDT Friday, September 6

Saskatchewan farmer violated patent, court rules

Canadian Press

Saskatoon - The Federal Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling that a
Saskatchewan farmer violated a patent held by Monsanto on a
herbicide-resistant canola.

In March 2001, farmer Percy Schmeiser of Bruno, Sask., was ordered to pay
$19,000 in damages for using Roundup Ready canola. He was also ordered to
cover Monsanto's court costs of $153,000.

Mr. Schmeiser had argued that either Roundup Ready canola seed blew into his
field from a passing truck or his crop may have been contaminated by
pollination.

On Thursday, the three-judge appeal court panel unanimously ruled in
Monsanto's favour, dismissing all of Mr. Schmeiser's 17 points of
contention.

However, they also rejected a bid by Monsanto to see the damages raised to
more than $100,000.

Mr. Schmeiser was not available for comment but his lawyer, Terry Zakreski,
said his client was disappointed.

"We're still reviewing it and considering whether to seek leave to appeal to
the Supreme Court of Canada," Mr. Zakreski said.

Trish Jordan of Monsanto said the money Mr. Schmeiser has been ordered to
pay will be put into the corporation's fund to reinvest into the agriculture
community as part of a larger corporate charity program.

"We have always said we will not profit from people doing illegal things,"
she said.

Despite his loss in court, Mr. 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.

Some groups from as far away as Australia have paid Mr. Schmeiser to travel
to speak to them.

Ms. Jordan said she is not surprised that Mr. Schmeiser became a cause to
rally around for those opposed to genetically modified foods or
biotechnology in agriculture.

"Obviously, there's always been people against either GM technology or
multi-national corporations or corporate control or patents," Ms. Jordan
said.

"I think in this particular case Mr. Schmeiser chose to do it through the
wrong avenue. On legal grounds, this case was open and shut."

 

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