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[Duurzaamlijst] FW: 8-Misc: News on the Canadian court trial Monsanto vs. Schmeiser

> ** Original Subject: FW: 8-Misc: News on the Canadian court trial Monsanto vs. 
> ** Original Sender: GENETNL <genetnl@xs4all.be>
> ** Original Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 09:38:00 +0200

> ** Original Message follows... 

> genet-news mailing list
> --------------------------
> ----------------------------- GENET-news -----------------------------
> TITLE:  A) Monsanto uses private eye, spies to check on Saskatchewan
>            farmers
>         B) Schmeiser a weed in Monsanto's GMO garden
> SOURCE: A) CP Wire
>         B) The Saskatoon StarPhoenix News, by Randy Burton
>            both edited and sent by AGnet, Canada
> DATE:   A) June 7, 2000
>         B) June 8, 2000
> -------------------- archive: http://www.gene.ch/ --------------------
> A) Monsanto uses private eye, spies to check on Saskatchewan farmers
> SASKATOON -- A Federal Court civil trial was told Wednesday that 
> Monsanto used private investigators to check on farmers it suspected 
> were using its herbicide-resistant seed without permission and that 
> one of those investigators testified he took plant samples from 
> public ditches adjacent to privately owned Saskatchewan canola 
> fields. The story says that the chemical giant, based in St. Louis, 
> Mo., also convinced a Saskatchewan company that sold Monsanto 
> products to supply canola seed samples from farmers being 
> investigated. Testimony indicated both investigation methods were 
> used to check on Percy Schmeiser's canola crops in 1997 and 1998.
> Garry Pappenfoot, a former manager of Humboldt Flour Mills, was cited 
> as saying he gave a sample of Schmeiser's seed to a Monsanto 
> representative in April 1998. Pappenfoot said he did not seek 
> Schmeiser's permission to give the sample to Monsanto and didn't 
> inform him of the fact.
> Craig Evans, general manager for biotechnology for Monsanto Canada 
> Inc. of Winnipeg, was cited as saying the company would rather not 
> take samples from third parties to ensure the genetically modified 
> seed is being used properly, but Schmeiser had refused to co-operate 
> with the company, adding, "We don't want to be going and taking 
> samples. If we have a suspicion, we want to work with growers and 
> resolve the matter."
> The company employed private investigators to pick canola samples 
> just outside of Schmeiser's fields in 1997 and later employed a land 
> surveyor to ensure the samples came from public land.
> Investigator Wayne Derbyshire of Regina admitted he was not entirely 
> confident he had taken samples from public land next to one of 
> Schmeiser's fields, but was encouraged but the results of the land 
> survey, adding, "Once I saw the survey stakes and where they were, I 
> was confident I had never entered Mr. Schmeiser's land." Rob Chomyn, 
> a Monsanto employee, testified someone informed on Schmeiser on a 
> company toll-free help-line.
>                               *****
> B) Schmeiser a weed in Monsanto's GMO garden
> The battle between Bruno farmer Percy Schmeiser and the multinational 
> firm Monsanto is, according to this story, a fight the seed giant 
> couldn't afford to walk away from. Schmeiser could deal the company a 
> debilitating financial blow if he undermines its ability to collect 
> the fee it charges farmers for the right to use its crop technology.
> If one farmer can grow Monsanto's Roundup Ready canola without paying 
> the licence fees, other farmers will be encouraged to do the same. 
> Those who have paid will wonder why they're doing so when renegade 
> farmers can get away with not paying. Nor will this be limited to 
> Canada. Fully half of the U.S. soybean crop is Roundup Ready, and 
> half of the cotton crop, too. More than 25 per cent of the U.S. corn 
> crop is also Roundup Ready.
> Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake for Monsanto at a time 
> when the backlash against GMOs has never been higher. Perhaps more 
> worrisome for the company is that the promise for higher returns for 
> farmers is also being undermined by bad publicity. The market is 
> beginning to recognize that it doesn't matter how good the products 
> are if they won't sell. The member countries of the European Union 
> won't accept our genetically modified canola, but there are many 
> other reasons not to expect the controversy to go away anytime soon.
> Among them, according to the story:
> - U.S. grain buyer Archers Daniels Midland is paying farmers less 
>   for genetically modified soybeans than what it pays for traditional 
>   varieties.
> - The American Corn Growers Association has told its members they 
>   should consider growing traditional varieties instead of 
>   genetically modified crops because of fears export markets may be
>   closed.
> - The Canadian Wheat Board has also suggested there be a moratorium 
>   on new genetic crops until markets settle down. At the moment, 
>   Monsanto is working on a Roundup Ready wheat.
> - McCains Foods won't buy GMOs and neither will Gerber or Heinz. 
> None of this is encouraging news for Monsanto, particularly at a time 
> when the company has staked its future on the new technology and now 
> finds itself engaged in battles on every side.
> In the international public relations war over GMOs, the story says 
> that Monsanto is the Great Satan. Not so long ago, it was just 
> another mid-sized chemical company competing with the giants of the 
> industry. But in the last few years, the company has transformed 
> itself into the world's leading producer of GMOs.
> Since 1986, Monsanto has spent more than $7 billion either taking 
> over other companies in the field or entering joint operating 
> agreements. It has simultaneously run a focused and highly successful 
> lobby campaign in Washington to streamline the regulatory process 
> that has helped it to achieve its dominant position in the 
> marketplace.
> Not only have many senior bureaucrats from U.S. regulatory agencies 
> taken senior positions with the company but it has very well-
> connected people on its board of directors, including former Commerce 
> Secretary Mickey Kantor and William Ruckelshaus, former chief 
> administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
> But its political successes have also made Monsanto the lightning rod 
> for protest amongst environmental groups. When anti-GMO activists 
> gather, Monsanto is their target. When they protest, it's Monsanto 
> they want to stop. The campaign has not only dramatically slowed the 
> growth of the GMO industry, it has also cast Monsanto in the role of 
> villain at a time when it is struggling financially. After having 
> sold off about $4 billion worth of subsidiaries in the last two years 
> to reduce debt, Monsanto recently merged with Pharmacia and Upjohn, 
> to create a company called Pharmacia.
> --
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>** --------- End Original Message ----------- **

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