I attended the Canadian Organic Growers Toronto conference today, and could easily write a dozen posts. I’ll write about just one speaker, Percy Schmeiser, who I had first listened to perhaps a decade ago or more at a Toronto Vegetarian Association event. In those days I was not a food activist at all. I just liked vegetables and wanted to be informed about what I was eating and feeding my family. So I went to Mr. Schmeiser’s talk then not necessarily expecting to be convinced of the harm of genetically modified foods.
Mr. Schmeiser’s story is one of profound and infuriating wrong. When I first heard him speak, he was embroiled in a legal battle with Monsanto, which had identified their genetically modified crop on his field, and demanded that he pay for using their patented product. As a heritage seed developer, he certainly didn’t welcome Monsanto’s “contribution”, which had contaminated all his fields and destroyed 50 years worth of work. All he did was refuse to pay. And in retribution, Monsanto dragged him right up to the Supreme Court, counting on the fact that he would succumb to the immense pressure of overwhelming legal bills. Read more »