Schmeiser prepared to take case to Supreme Court

He may have lost another battle in his war against Monsanto, but Bruno,

Sask., farmer Percy Schmeiser says he plans to continue the fight.

He wants to take last week’s ruling from the Federal Court of Canada,

which upheld a lower court finding that he knowingly and unlawfully

grew Roundup Ready canola without a licence, to the Supreme Court of

Canada.

And he isn’t going to let this legal failure interfere with his hectic

itinerary of international speaking engagements.

“It’s patent law over farmers’ rights,” fumed Schmeiser a few days

after the ruling was handed down. “It’s scary.”

Monsanto said it is happy with the ruling against all of Schmeiser’s

arguments, which it expected. But the court also decided that the

penalty against Schmeiser should not be increased.

Schmeiser said he is going to appeal the latest decision. The court

upheld a trial court ruling that found Schmeiser guilty of breaching

Monsanto’s patent on Roundup Ready canola because he grew a crop of

canola in 1998 that he must have known had a high concentration of

Monsanto’s patented gene.

Schmeiser, who just got back from the Earth Summit in South Africa

where he went to speak about his view of the dangers of genetically

modified crops, is getting ready for more travel.

He said the president of Ecuador has invited him to visit in November.

He is also returning to several Central American countries in November.

“I’ve met with all the environment ministers of Central America. Every

one of them,” said Schmeiser. “I also met with the president of Costa

Rica.”

Schmeiser said his travel costs are covered by those bringing him in to

speak and any extra payments are put into his legal defence trust fund.

Monsanto hopes this ruling against Schmeiser’s appeal pushes this case

into the history books.

“Hopefully this will put an end to it,” said Monsanto spokesperson

Trish Jordan.

She said the company was gratified to see its patent rights upheld.

“This has never been about money. This has been about a principle,”

said Jordan.

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