Highlights from 2003
On December 5, 2003 there was hearing to consider motions by Monsanto and Bayer to cross examine a number of our affiants (witnesses). We opposed cross-examination, as our legal counsel argued that such cross-examination would be unnecessary for deciding upon certification, and would cause delays. However, Judge Smith ruled that the defendants would be allowed to cross-examine. Read Judge Smith's ruling. (PDF 474KB)
On August 6, 2003 Judge Smith established a timetable (PDF 55KB) leading up to the certification hearing for our class action.
On August 7, 2003 Judge Smith issued her decision (PDF 43KB) regarding Monsanto's objection to Larry Hoffman's reference to Dr. Mae Wan Ho's affidavit in our certification application materials. She clearly stated that Dr. Mae Wan Ho's Report was properly before the Court and once again dismissed Monsanto's effort to exclude it.
Contamination of certified organic fields by genetically engineered canola is becoming a very serious issue. Pat Neville, a certified organic pedigreed seed grower, faces severe economic consequences as a result of GMO canola blowing into his fields. The costs of removing the plants and the implications for his certified organic status are of grave concern. Read more.
Our case continues to attract international attention. In July 2003, Michael Meacher, former UK Minister of Environment toured Canada to learn about the effects of GMO crops on farmers, and to assess whether or not co-existence between GMO and non-GMO farming is possible. He made a special visit to Saskatchewan to meet with organic farmers and to learn about our legal action.
In May we had a visit from the state of Western Australia's parliamentary committee investigating the impact of GE crops on all parts of the agriculture sector in North America. A few days after they returned to Australia we heard that all of the Australian states have decided to uphold their moratorium against GMO crops.
The films "Deconstructing Supper" and "Slice of Life: The case against GE wheat" were shown at the Mayworks 2003 film festival in Saskatoon. Doug Bone spoke and a collection was taken up. Proceeds were donated to the OAPF fund.
On April 28, Arnold Taylor (SOD OAPF committee), Terry Zakreski (class counsel), and Patrick Venditti (Greenpeace) were the keynote speakers at an OAPF fund-raising gourmet dinner held at the Toronto restaurant "Crush". The dinner was organized with Greenpeace's help by Michael Stadtlander, one of Toronto's top chefs, and seven of his fellow super chefs. It was a huge success and a great deal of thanks is owed to Mr. Stadtlander and his colleagues!
In March 2003 Bob Willick toured Australia and New Zealand as the guest of the organic farmers organizations Down Under. He was speaking out against the introduction of GMO canola over there, letting farmers there know what has happened in western Canada.
In January, 2003 Arnold Taylor returned to the UK to speak about our class action at the British Soil Association's 15th National Conference on organic food and farming.
The Canadian Wheat Board has asked SOD for a statement in support of their paper: "Conditions for the Introduction of GM Wheat." Read SOD's response. (PDF 30KB)