Steve Marsh GM Contamination Case Fails in Western Australian Supreme Court

Posted on May 28 2014 - 9:37am by Sustainable Pulse

Western Australian farmer Steve Marsh (#IamSteveMarsh) has lost a landmark case which could have protected his organic status, after his property was contaminated by GM canola from a neighbouring farm.

The verdict was handed down Wednesday and can be found here:

Marsh, an organic farmer from Kojonup, south of Perth, Western Australia (WA), lost organic certification for most of his farm when GM canola contaminated his crop. He took action by suing his neighbour Michael Baxter in the Supreme Court of WA, in a landmark world’s first trial which started earlier this year.

Henry Rowlands, the Global GMO Free Coalition Coordinator reacted Wednesday; “Steve Marsh is a great man to have stood up to what was obviously a Biotech industry funded legal campaign. It is a shame that the WA Supreme Court did not see beyond the arguments of the GMO and pesticide lobby in Western Australia.

“We hope that Steve’s battle is not over and that he will continue to the Australian High Court, as his fight is that of all Australian organic farmers, who will still live under the fear of GM contamination following this ruling.”

Scott Kinnear, director of the Safe Food Foundation, says he is very disappointed and gravely concerned for Steve Marsh and his family and their farm and for the future of organic and non GM food in Australia remaining GM free.

“This is a huge setback for organic and Non GM farmers and their choice to remain GM Free.”

“This has been an important test case, of interest to many parties, locally and globally.

“If Steve on legal advice chooses to take this case further, the Safe Food Foundation will continue to work to legally protect the rights of Australian consumers to buy organic produce free of GM.”

“We also call on our legislators to work on finding a solution to this vexed issue. State and Federal governments have continuously stated that the solution to any GM contamination events is common law. This has clearly failed today and demonstrates that the law has not kept up with new technologies such as GM.”

“We thank Steve Marsh who has risked his farm to make a stand for all of us, a move that demonstrated his courage, tenacity and integrity.”

Mr Kinnear also thanked Slater & Gordon and the many people and businesses in more than 30 countries who contributed amounts large and small to this landmark case, but warned them that the battle may not be over.

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10 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. AustraliaIsaMonsantoColony? May 28, 2014 at 10:37 - Reply

    While I don’t know the details of this case, this I do know:

    Corporations are really in control — but only for now.

    I once thought of Australia as a bastion of liberalism many years ago, but now I see it (rightly or wrongly) as a country suffering from corruption, conservatism, and corporate hegemony — like much of the “free” world!

    Beautiful Australia kick Monsanto, GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, and those nasty man-eating spiders out!

    More Opera, less Toxicity!

    • Joanne Jasny May 29, 2014 at 06:55 - Reply

      Australia has become a subsidiary for the Corporatocracy while we were sleeping. Too many are still in a coma.

  2. protocol May 28, 2014 at 12:35 - Reply

    Go Steve, don’ feel down over this result, there will be help all over with an appeal, this has only just started as Australians are sick to death of corporatisation and corruption. The more this GM issue carries on the more the consumer and the world is be coming aware of it . Deflating I know but your a hero in most peoples eyes, so get ready for the world to be now on your side, its only just beginning Steve. Stay positive and have a drink to the next round cos that’s what Aussies do,ignore monsantos interference, they will have Russia and China to deal with now. Our government may step up to the plate, although don’t expect it from Barnaby Joyce

    ywill have Russia and China to deal with in the mean time

  3. jason May 28, 2014 at 19:48 - Reply

    we have the same issues in america. it’s a shame. Steve – thank you for standing up for what is right. the world needs more people like you.

  4. Alastair May 29, 2014 at 06:31 - Reply

    Slater and Gordon… perhaps you don’t want to go to the “no win no pay” solicitors when you are fighting a David vs Goliath case. This needs top flight representation. Although in fairness to S&G I haven’t read the judgement and the Law is probably hamstrung by convention in this case.

  5. Alastair May 29, 2014 at 06:34 - Reply

    Where is the party of the farmers the National Party? Having a $1000 lunch in Collins Street with a mining company that where.

  6. a girl who shops May 29, 2014 at 07:53 - Reply

    Steve. You did the right thing by standing up for consumers. You fought for us. I admire your courage. We are very thankful of your effort. I don’t know much about farming. But I buy organic food as a consumer. I don’t understand people who want to feed their family with GMO food. I am very mad at Monsanto and people who support Monsanto. They probably were given a lot of money to support the company. We can not support the dirty science. We will not waste your courage and effort. We will fight against this giant agritech corporation that stole seeds from farmers.

  7. Sylvia Wright May 30, 2014 at 08:34 - Reply

    Damn agrichemical companies and their deep pockets.

  8. annika May 31, 2014 at 19:44 - Reply

    I’m furious!!! The GMO shit is spread by the wind and no one can be protected from having ones own crops being pollinated. The pollinator (Monsanto who sells the shit and the stupid farmer who farms it) should face the blame and clean up the mess. It’s easy to see how those GMO crops will outrival traditional healty seeds…it can be irreversible!!!

  9. pete mullen December 30, 2014 at 03:30 - Reply

    This is showing what these Companies can do and get away with. Monsanto, Dow and the rest of these ‘Parasites’ fight on a regular basis in America courts and are still winning.
    What is needed is to stop them getting into the Governments and stop them from controlling our lives from there.
    I’m afraid they are to powerful ( money ) and Governments around the world let them get involved in Agricultural issues.

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