Schmeiser awaits decision in Monsanto suit

Percy Schmeiser hopes to soon know whether he beat Monsanto’s lawsuit against him.

“We’re expecting it in February,” said Schmeiser, whom Monsanto claims illegally obtained and grew Roundup Ready canola. “We kind of feel it should be coming.”

Monsanto spokesperson Trish Jordan said the company does not know when to expect a decision.

“We haven’t heard anything.”

Schmeiser, a Bruno, Sask., farmer, is being sued by Monsanto for allegedly growing more than 1,000 acres of Roundup Ready canola without a contract in 1997 and 1998.

Schmeiser said he never intentionally planted or grew Monsanto’s patented crop. His lawyer suggested wind and bees could have brought pollen from nearby fields, or wind could have scattered Roundup Ready seed from passing trucks into his fields of conventional canola.

The two-and-a-half week trial last August contained days of testimony about the sophisticated scientific process involved in creating Roundup Ready canola.

An engineer testified about how far canola seeds could be blown off the top of a passing truck.

The trial even contained an impromptu test of canola allegedly produced by Schmeiser.

At the end of the trial, judge Andrew MacKay said he hoped to hand down a decision sometime between September and December 2000.

Jordan said Monsanto hasn’t been affected by the lack of a decision in the case.

“Everything else is business as usual.”

Schmeiser said his life has completely changed since the trial and the fame it brought him.

He said he spent much of the winter traveling the globe, telling his story to farmers and scientists.

He said he has been to Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, Australia, six European countries and the United States.

Schmeiser said he hopes MacKay hands down his decision before spring seeding.

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