Schmeiser takes Case to Top Court
MURRAY LYONS / The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada) 7sep02
recommended: Percy Schmeiser telling his story in
Heartbreak in the Heartland: The True Cost of Genetically Engineered Crops
Also translated into Spanish, French, Chinese, and Hindi
Sask. farmer to appeal to Supreme Court in dispute with Monsanto
Parry Schmeiser says it's clear to him that he has to try to get a hearing before the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Bruno farmer said he and his lawyer Terry made the decision to seek leave to appeal there not long after they found the Federal Court of Appeal had rejected his appeal of a lower court ruling that he had violated Monsanto's patent on its Roundup Ready gene.
The whole world has given their support. Farmers around the world are very concerned about losing the right to control their own seed. " -- Percy Schmeiser
"The whole world has given their support. Farmers around the world are very concerned about lose the right to control their own seed," he said Friday from his farm while busy moving grain from one bin to another.
He said news that he had a further e setback in court travelled around the world overnight and he had many calls encouraging him continue e and promises of help for the appeal.
Schmeiser's appeal was rejected on all grounds, but he said he was especially concerned the original ruling was upheld where federal court judge Andrew MacKay 'had stated that it did not matter how the Roundup Ready gene gets into a farmer's field.
"That's the big issue," Schmeiser said.
He is also bothered by what he says is the lack of evidence that he ever sprayed Roundup on his canola crop in 1998, which Schmeiser says would have been necessary in order to make use of the patent that he. is accused of violating.
The decision to fight on has been helped tremendously by the bank account in Humboldt through which individuals and groups have donated money to help fund his legal battle. Schmeiser's Web site encourages such donations.
While he wouldn't say how much has come in to the account, he says one non governmental organization sent the equivalent of $8,000 Cdn while most of the other donations range from $10 to $20.
"I couldn't even say what the amounts are; but not enough has come in for the first appeal. But it's gradually coming in.
"Now. I'll have to go back to the world community and say, 'If you want me to fight this, I can. But I need help. I'm sure those funds will come in.
The Bruno farmer, now 71, says he spent $200,000 in his legal battle even before the appeal was launched and this has come at a personal cost to he and his wife.
"We: spent .all of our life savings and we mortgaged two- or three-quarters of our land to pay that," he said. "So it has cost us a tremendous amount. that we worked for: That's why I went to the world community."
Schmeiser just returned from the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg where he said he had many meetings with government delegations who are concerned about preserving biodiversity and the right for farmers to save and: control their own seeds.
Schmeiser says he has gladly taken on. extensive travel to tell his story, but it s been a sacrifice. "It's not easy. I have do leave my wife at home many tunes. It's not easy with the stress it has put on our family," be said. "We don't have our heads in the sand. We're up; against, a multi-billion dollar corporation."
Many thanks to Percy Schmeiser for sending this article. But most of all, we are all infinitely indebted to you for your valiant struggle against the transnational corporate goliath Monsanto! You have given the world hope against total control of the food supply. You give farmers around the world hope and we ALL WISH YOU WELL.
To aid Percy in this struggle, please go to his website www.percyschmeiser.com
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