Blowing in the wind: gene patents

Thursday, 30 September, 2004

The victory of biotechnology giant Monsanto over Canadian farmer Mr Percy Schmeiser in the Supreme Court of Canada has sent a powerful message to Australian farmers - not just about GM crops, but about all plant technologies, according to ANU law expert Dr Matthew Rimmer.

In the case, Mr Schmeiser, a 73-year-old canola farmer from Bruno Saskatchewan, was accused of using a patented Monsanto GM canola crop, without paying royalties to the biotechnology company. The Supreme Court of Canada was sharply divided over the matter, ruling in favour of Monsanto by a majority of five to four.

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