I had the pleasure of seeing Percy in person last night at the local library for a talk on creating Genetically Engineered Free Zones throughout Canada and the world. As soon as I heard his voice ,knowing what he has gone through in order to fight for what is right, it brought tears to my eyes. This simple Saskatchewan farmer stood up to Monsanto, arguably one of the most damaging corporations on the planet , at great personal cost to himself simply because it was the right thing to do. They tried to take away his land, make him give up his seeds, sign gag orders to shut him up, and harassed in numerous other ways all because their tainted seeds blew on to his fields one fateful day.They sued him for patent infringement and the fact that they narrowly won the case 5-4 in the Supreme Court shows that our justice system here in Canada is in serious need of overhaul. Percy was recently able to win a small claims court case against Monsanto for damages however which opens the door for many other farmers.
Monsanto has sought patents on many genetically engineered plants and animals. Though their Terminator seeds they threaten to control the food supply of the world by significantly reducing biodiversity and aggressively expanding into developing countries where standards and awareness is lower. Terminator technology makes a plant sterile and unable to produce seeds so their profits continue to flow in as farmers are forced to keep buying more seeds. They also have engineered plants to accept their chemical herbicides by messing with the DNA of the plants and to date there is no evidence of any benefits to this technology. Percy was clear on this point. Yields have gone down in all areas where this technology has been used and yet they continue to say their technology is the solution to global hunger. In fact it has intensified global hunger by reducing biodiversity which is ever more important in an era of climate change. More and more crops are being pushed for genetic engineering and if it wasn’t for Percy Schmeiser we would likely have much more of our food supply contaminated with this garbage.
I am certain that Percy will be go down as one of the most influential Canadians in recent history not only for his landmark battle but also for his continuing efforts aiming to raise awareness around the world to these crucial issues.