For Immediate Release 12 February 2016
The High Court has betrayed Australian farmers and eaters by its dismissal of organic farmer Steve Marsh's leave to appeal. Steve Marsh's farm was contaminated by his GM canola growing neighbour. He lost half his income for several years. Due to inadequate regulation and laws his only way to gain compensation was to sue his neighbour.
"The courts have decided that because GM can be legally grown in a way that contaminates, no compensation or responsibility is required." said Fran Murrell of MADGE.
"There is zero tolerance for GM in both organic and non-GM supply chains. Instead of protecting the vast majority of farmers that do not grow GM, the court has permitted the pollution of our farms and food."
"GM canola grower, Baxter, received financial support from Monsanto. Monsanto is a vast corporation that owns patents on GM seed and controls 26% of commercial seed worldwide. In contrast Steve Marsh was supported by the Safe Food Foundation that collected donations from the public. The court decided that Steve Marsh will have to pay Baxter's court costs despite his backing by Monsanto.
"It is hard to see any fairness in the way Steve has been treated" said Jessica from MADGE, "Canola is from the brassica family which includes broccoli, kale, cabbage, boy choy and many related vegetables. Japan has found GM contamination of broccoli from GM canola seed spilled on roadsides. The High Court is implicitly allowing the contamination of our food and fields in a most irresponsible and reckless way."
"Steve Marsh did not take on this court case just to receive compensation for his personal losses. He did it to protect all farmers and eaters. We would like to thank him for his courage in his defence of our food." Said Fran.
For comment contact: Fran Murrell 0401 407 944 Jessica Harrison 0407 307 231