By January 10, 2014 6 Comments Read More →

The Right To Farm Organically – Australian Farmer Fights Monsanto in Landmark Seed Contamination Suit

Steve MarshAlex Pietrowski, Staff Writer
Waking Times

Across the globe, farmers who choose to plant non-genetically modified seed instead of patented seed varieties from the agro-chemical giants like Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta and BASF, are being forced out of business by the burden and costs of fighting seed patent lawsuits.

Targeting farms who do not pay ‘technology fees’ for patented seed crops growing on their property that they may never have planted, the seed companies have for years been waging a trade war against traditional farmers. By contaminating non-genetically modified (GM) crops with patented seeds by wind drift and carelessness, the seed companies have found a way to drive competition out of business using the high costs of the legal system. Simply dispatch a team of lawyers to search for contamination, and sue until the farm goes under.


In Western Australia, organic farmer Steve Marsh is asking the world for immediate help as he engages in a landmark battle against the seed giants. Neighboring farms had chosen to plant genetically modified and patented canola seed which contaminated Marsh’s farm, although Marsh had never purchased nor planted GM seed. Being an organic farm, this meant the first financial blow was the loss of his organic certification, which is extremely difficult and expensive to obtain and maintain:

“In 2010 he lost his organic certification when GM canola from next door jumped the fence and contaminated 70% of his farm. In a world first, he is suing his GM neighbour for damages and if he wins he not only protects his right to grow clean GM free organic food, he also protects our rights to eat GM free foods.” [Source]

Now he is facing financial ruin as the seed companies press forward with technology patent suits against, and has chosen to try a unique approach in his defense, suing his neighbor losses incurred on behalf of contamination.

This case is unique for the world because Marsh has decided to sue another farm for damages as a result of his farm being contaminated. If his case against the other farm is won, it will signal a shift in how farmers may be able to fight against the monopolistic tactic of seed patent suits. If farmers who plant GM seed are aware that they may face litigation for contaminating their neighbors, then this would give GM farmers another reason not to plant genetically modified and chemical dependent crops.

Pro GM lobbying groups are offering financial and public relations support to the neighbor in this battle, and Marsh is asking the world to help him to finance this bout against GMOs and the corporate seed giants:

The practice of suing farmers whose fields have been undesirably contaminated by neighboring crops or even passing farm vehicles has been growing in the last couple of decades. Recently, the comedy team at The Daily Show took up this issue in a satirical piece about Monsanto patent lawyers and their outright and obvious attempts to totally control the international seed trade by ensuring that every farm who is not intentionally using GM seed is put out of business.

While satirical in presentation, this clip captures the diabolical madness of this trend and shows how generations old farms are being wiped out completely in a matter of years by hurling corporate lawyers and endless legal funds at legitimate, underserving farmers:

While the debate about the safety of GM foods carries on, behind the scenes the seed giants are still extending their global market share, by hook or by crook. Within a short number of years the safety debate may very well become a moot point as seed diversity and organic farming simply become a thing of the past, wiped out by the legal argument that seed, the very essence of life on earth, can be controlled and patented by corporations.

Back in 2008, CBS News ran this similar report about genetically modified soy contamination and the process of being targeted by Monsanto for doing absolutely nothing wrong, immoral or illegal:

Monsanto’s Side of the Story:

Monsanto, of course, views genetic modification of seed as critical to the future of humanity, and seed patents are an important means of making this leap towards feeding the world’s growing population. From a business standpoint patenting a product that required significant investment in research and development makes sense. But lacking in this argument from Monsanto is any connection to the real world potential for seed pollen to drift and contaminate other farms, and also lacking is any explanation for the global legal push to drive so many farmers totally out of business.

Watch the following Monsanto PR video explaining their position on the importance of seed patents:

This is the biblical struggle of David versus Goliath all over again, and organic farmer Steve Marsh needs the world’s support as his case goes to court in February in the Western Australia Supreme Court. Please share this story far and wide and visit the following pages:

Support Steve Marsh Now! http://safefoodfoundation.org/helpthi…
You can also show your support for Steve on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HelpThisFarmer

About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and an avid student of Yoga and life.

Sources:

http://www.pubpat.org/monsanto-seed-patents.htm

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/10/18/163034053/top-five-myths-of-genetically-modified-seeds-busted

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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  • Robert Buckle

    The travesty that is supposed to be our government, both State and Federal know full well what they are allowing to happen by authorizing Monsanto to be in Australia. They are fully aware of Monsanto’s actions to farmers in other countries well before they came to Australia to pollute our farms with their poisons. Therefor they are complicit in this treasonous and criminal grab for control. Monsanto use their contacts with the banksters and the elite’s minions around the world to perpetrate legalized terror where ever they want. This is not news to millions of people on planet earth these days!
    It is with great purpose that our government’s handlers,the elite, bring pressure to bear on governments around the world to allow this invasion of rights. Sadly, in Australia there is not a decent politician in power with either the good sense or back bone to see the obvious and stop it. If the politicians who do realize what’s going on and yet say or do nothing to protect the very people they are voted in to protect, then they are also being treasonous to the people. Australian politics rest firmly in the buttocks of US politics, so with out Aussies standing up against this, we are surly well down the proverbial slippery slope.
    Justice in Australia is an extremely expensive joke. Both government, judiciary, lawyers and the court system have sold the Australian people out. They are also complicit in treasonous acts against the people and have forgotten the people’s rights. One of those rights is to determine the very food they eat.
    The only real people who feed the nation: The Farmers are now being pressured off the land by an extremely corrupt and criminal corporation: “Monsanto” with their legal hounds bludgeoning anyone who gets in Monsanto’s way. Just as efficiently as the banksters have been doing for years and are still doing. These practice’s are all still being sanctioned by both the courts and the government in Australia.
    In closing, I will be amongst the people in supporting one our valued treasures, a person who’s life pursuit is growing better food for the people. That man is: Steve Marsh. Supporting Steve Marsh is supporting your own right to choose!

    • Anonymous

      The corruption is endemic from the highest level of our government down to Monsanto and our courts…………. Steve Marsh has to have the support of the Australian people because their government no longer care…………..

  • Fred Haskins

    It is quite ironical that here in New South Wales, the GM Cotton growers are complaining that their GM Cotton crops are being contaminated and damaged as a result of 24-D being sprayed on neighbouring properties.

  • Sorgfelt

    Justice should not depend on having lots of money to fight those with more money, anymore than our representatives only serve money rather than the people who elect them. Our legal system needs to be changed as well as our political system.

  • John Cook

    Its mind boggling to think that such an issue is even debatable. It Obvious that if a farmer contaminates another farmers land so that he loses his organic accreditation then he has caused harm and should be liable. The fact that it is not seen as clear infringement of natural rights shows that the evil has spread to the legal system itself. We truely are doomed, the evil has won and life and sanity has lost.

    • Chris Cook (No relation)

      John . . . you are being defeatist ( & bringing shame to the good name of Cook 😉 ) Yes things look bad but thats only because there isn’t a big enough ground swell to raise up against Monsta-santo. There’s only so many of them and there are MILLIONS of us. What would you do if your friend or neighbour or heaven forbid a family member worked for them ?? What would you do ? You’d coat them !! You’d read them the Riot Act, telling them they work for a Monstrous Corporation who is endeavoring to enslave the world then turn your back on them and never speak to them again & encourage everyone you know to do the same. I can see a time when these Global corporations are actually attacked. People will realise that protesting & writing letters or signing petitions etc don’t work. Direct action will ensue Imagine what would happen to Monsta-santo if their managers, boards of directors, etc etc started getting kidnapped or killed. We have to wake everyone up to the dangers of GMO’s & shut this shit down. Giving up ios NOT an option !!

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