Saturday, February 13, 2010
Interesting news in the local paper here. A bill introduced in the state legislature here would protect farmers from liability if their fields are unintentionally contaminated with genetically modified seed. As I'm sure most of you are aware, GM seed companies, especially Monsanto, are notorious for suing farmers for patent infringement when GM contamination blown in from neighboring farms affects their crop. In some cases, the farmer has painstakingly saved seed for decades, developing their own variety of a crop that is wiped out forever when this contamination occurs.
Perhaps the best-known example of this type of litigation is the case of Percy Schmeiser, a canola farmer in Canada whose 50 years of seed saving were wiped out when contaminated "roundup ready" GM seed or pollen blew in from a neighboring farm. Monsanto sued Schmeiser for patent infringement, and won.
Passing this legislation in New Mexico, is so, so important. Furthermore, we need to see legislation like this introduced at the federal level. Unfortunately, the bill has been sent to the Senate Conservation Committee--a bad sign. This fight is going on right now, and you can call your state senator today to ask for his/her support of this bill. Protect our Farmers (and our food)!!!
If you're in NM, you can go to http://www.gmofreenm.com/ or join this facebook group to show your support for the bill and get more information on its progress.