Organic Consumers Association

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Canadian Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal by Organic Farmers Against Monsanto

Canada's highest court has rejected a legal action launched by two farmers and backed by the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate against the Monsanto company.

Six years ago, the organic farmers group tried to launch a class-action lawsuit against Monsanto Canada Inc. The courts wouldn't certify it as a class action.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed their appeal of a Saskatchewan Court of Appeal decision from earlier this year.

The group says organic farmers have lost money because of the introduction of genetically modified canola.

Directorate spokesman Arnold Taylor says if organic crops are contaminated in any way by genetically modified products, they lose their European markets.

The Supreme Court dismissal of the appeal does not mean the case is dead, he said.

"It's no indication of the validity of our case," he said. "It just denied the use of the Class Action Act to take it forward."

Agricultural economist Murray Fulton says the ruling will affect the directorate's fight to keep GM crops out of Canada.

"Had it gone ahead and they ended up winning, it would have given them considerable more power down the road in being able to get companies to pay attention," he said.

However,Taylor said they are not ready to give up the fight. He's meeting with other organic farmers and their lawyer to decide what their next step will be.

One of the options is pursuing the lawsuit with an individual case. 

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