1999 - Volume #23, Issue #4, Page #05[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Should Farmer Sue Monsanto For Damaging His Crops?I thought you might be interested in this followup to the Percy Schmeiser lawsuit that you mentioned in the last issue," says FARM SHOW reader John G. Ruff, Logan, Kan. "Schmeiser is the Canadian farmer who's being sued by Monsanto because crops on his farms contained the Roundup Ready gene. He claimed that pollen must have blown onto his farm from nearby farms using Roundup Ready seed.
"The last issue of the High Plains Journal contained a story about how English research has found that blown pollen from genetically altered crops can travel more than 400 yards, depending on the crop. The previous limit had been thought to be only 50 yards. Researchers also found instances of up to 3 miles of travel, probably spread by bees.
"It seems to me that with more companies refusing to buy genetically altered grain that Percey Schmeiser has a strong case for suing Monsanto for taking inadequate steps to prevent his crops from being damaged by unwanted pollen. Monsanto might be setting itself up for similar suits if other cases like this one are found.
"Also, I understand that Monsanto is free to take grain samples from farmers where farmers have signed an agreement but what gives it the authority to take samples on farms where there are no agreements? In light of the above research, I'd think that would be the last thing Monsanto would want to find."
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