Landmark Lawsuit Tests Limits for Growers of GM Foods

Posted July 28th, 2011 at 5:40 am (UTC-5)
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A landmark lawsuit in Australia is raising new questions about the responsibilities of growers of genetically modified crops.

West Australia GM farmer Michael Baxter is being sued by his lifelong friend and neighbor Steve Marsh after some modified canola seed blew onto the neighbor's farm. That caused Marsh to lose his license to sell organic produce, destroying a business he had been developing for years.

Marsh says he finds it painful to take a neighbor to court, but that he has been deprived of his right to farm his land in the way he chooses.

However the Pastoralists and Graziers Association, representing farmers in the region, says Baxter is a good farmer who has done nothing wrong. The group says the standards set by the certifying agency for organic farming are unrealistic and unachievable.