Organic farmer vs. GM farmer facing trial on February 10
January 22, Melbourne - Organic farmer Steve Marsh will soon face his neighbour in the WA Supreme Court in a landmark case to protect his right to keep growing genetically modified (GM) free food. The matter is due to start on the 10th February 2014 and is scheduled to run for three weeks.
Steve Marsh is a farmer from Kojonup, south of Perth, who lost his organic certification when Monsanto's GM canola blew onto his farm from a neighbouring property in 2010. Steve lost most of his income and has struggled for the past three years trying to make ends meet while working to decontaminate his land and get his organic certification back. As Monsanto has a no liability agreement with GM farmers that prevent them from being sued, Steve's only choice was to take his neighbour to court for compensation of loss and damages. Slater & Gordon Lawyers took on Steve's case under their public interest policy.
Steve has gained support from many people and public figures like food journalist Matt Preston, landscape architect Costa Georgiadis, chef Kylie Kwong, surfer world champion Mick Fanning, boxer Danny Green and environmental activist David Suzuki.
"I don't want to see the loss of a man's right to have his organic farmland uncontaminated by a neighbour's GM crop. Let's get behind WA farmer Steve Marsh and his coming court battle", MasterChef Judge Matt Preston, said.
"Since launching our fundraising campaign for Steve, thousands of people from around the world have made a donation to help Steve cover his legal costs. We are fund raising to pay for the costs of barristers, expert witnesses and travel and accommodation. This crowd funding style response to protect GM-free food has been amazing. The GM farmer is being financially supported by pro-GM lobby group the Pastoralists & Graziers Association. It is now more important than ever to back Steve in his fight as we approach this precedent-setting court case", Scott Kinnear, Director of the Safe Food Foundation, added.
You can watch a short video telling Steve's story here.