Schmeiser will take the stand

Percy Schmeiser did not use bootleg Roundup Ready canola seed, he didn’t keep any of his own crop that was contaminated by Monsanto’s patented gene, and he didn’t use Roundup for weed control in 1997 and 1998, lawyer Terry Zakreski said in his opening statement defending the Bruno, Sask., farmer.

The main defence witness, Zakreski said, will be Schmeiser himself, whose “vast experience as a canola grower” will be used to demonstrate how Monsanto’s patented gene got mixed into and came to dominate the 900 acres of canola Schmeiser grew in 1998.

The farmer will also demonstrate how the “unconfined release” of the Roundup Ready gene has infected local crops.

Other farmers who have had Roundup Ready plants appear on their land will also be presented, as will a farmer who said he saw an untarped truck passing Schmeiser’s 1998 canola fields, Zakreski said.

He will also present results of a University of Manitoba study that found Schmeiser’s crop was only about two-thirds Roundup tolerant, as opposed to the more than 90 percent claimed by Monsanto.

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