GENET archive


CONTAMINATION: Saskatchewan Court of Appeal rejects appeal onCanadian GM canola case

                                 PART I
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  Court rejects appeal on GM canola case
SOURCE: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada
DATE:   03.05.2007

Court rejects appeal on GM canola case

Two organic farmers from Saskatchewan have lost their latest bid for a
class-action lawsuit against farm chemical companies involved in
producing genetically modified canola.

On Wednesday, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by
Dale Beaudoin and Larry Hoffman of L.B. Hoffman Farms Inc. against
Monsanto Canada and Bayer CropScience.

They are seeking damages from the two companies for allegedly
contaminating their organically grown canola and their fields with
genetically modified canola.

Genetically modified canola has been altered so that it's resistant to
certain herbicides, making it simpler for farmers to spray.

Hoffman and Beaudoin wanted their case to be declared a class-action
suit, so many farmers could join the action with one legal team arguing
the case.

They were turned down by the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench two
years ago and on Wednesday, the Appeal Court upheld that decision.

Without class-action status, farmers can still sue, but only as individuals.
The other possibility is for Hoffman and Beaudoin to take the case to
the Supreme Court of Canada. They have until Aug. 2 to apply to the
Supreme Court.

In a news release, Monsanto officials said they were pleased with
Wednesday's decision.

The farmers' case is sponsored by the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate's
Organic Agriculture Protection Fund.

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                                 PART II
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  Organic farmers considering next steps after Appeal Court decision
        regarding class certification
SOURCE: Organic Agriculture Protection Fund, Canada
AUTHOR: Press Release
URL: _2May07.doc
DATE:   02.05.2007

Organic farmers considering next steps after Appeal Court decision
regarding class certification

Today the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal released its decision in the case
of Hoffman et al v. Monsanto and Bayer, dismissing the appeal of the
lower court ruling denying class certification to the certified organic
farmers of Saskatchewan seeking compensation for losses due to
contamination by the two companies' GMO canola. The organic farmers are
disappointed with the decision, but are reviewing it to determine
whether they will seek leave to appeal it to the Supreme Court of Canada.

- 30 -

For more information please contact:
Arnold Taylor, Chair, Organic Agriculture Protection Fund Committee,
phone: (306) 241-6125 or (306) 252-2783
Marc Loiselle, Research Director, Organic Agriculture Protection Fund
Committee, (bilingual): phone (306) 227-5825 or (306) 258-2192
For details of the class action suit, please see http://

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                                 PART III
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  Court dismisses Class Action certification application brought
        forward by Saskatchewan Organic Directorate
SOURCE: Monsanto, Canada
AUTHOR: Press Release
DATE:   03.05.2007

Court dismisses Class Action certification application brought forward
by Saskatchewan Organic Directorate
Case "replete with weakness in every respect" says Saskatchewan Court of

(WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - May 3, 2007) - The Court of Appeal for
Saskatchewan has dismissed an appeal sponsored by the activist group
Saskatchewan Organic Directorate (SOD) and two Saskatchewan organic
farmers seeking Class Action certification under Saskatchewan's Class
Actions Act.

The decision was announced May 2, 2007 in a 34-page written judgment
released by the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan in the case of Larry
Hoffman, L.B. Hoffman Farms Inc., and Dale Beaudoin vs. Monsanto Canada
Inc. and Bayer CropScience Inc. Although there were two named appellants
in the case - Hoffman and Beaudoin - the case is actually driven, and
financially resourced, by the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate's Organic
Agriculture Protection Fund.

The Appeal Court hearing was heard in December 2006 in Regina,
Saskatchewan before the Honourable Mr. Justice Cameron, the Honourable
Madam Justice Gerwing and the Honourable Mr. Justice Sherstobitoff. In
making its judgment, the Court clearly articulated its views on
arguments put forth by the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate, noting, "In
our judgment, this action did not merit certification as a class action.
So, the appeal is dismissed."

"We are obviously pleased with the Court's decision. Roundup ReadyŽ
canola technology has brought tremendous benefits to canola growers
across Canada," said Trish Jordan, Monsanto Canada spokesperson.
"Hopefully now the plaintiffs in this case will accept the Court's
determination that their claims are without merit and stop trying to
deny growers access to this beneficial technology."

Particularly telling were comments made by the Justices indicating the
claims of trespass, nuisance and negligence did not provide a plausible
basis for liability and it was the opinion of the Court that, "the
application for certification was replete with weakness in every
respect, and not just in respect of the question of whether the
pleadings disclosed a cause or causes of action...and the question of
whether there existed an identifiable class. Despite these weaknesses,
those in control of the action decided to press on with it."

"Food and feed products containing ingredients derived from plant
biotechnology crops have a solid 10-year history of safe use and all
current Roundup Ready crops available in the marketplace, including
Roundup Ready canola, met or exceeded Canadian federal regulatory
guidelines for food, feed and environmental release. The Court made
special mention of this in its judgment," said Jordan. "SOD and its
supporters are completely ignoring the reality that all types of farming
can coexist with good farm management practices, the establishment of
reasonable tolerances and thresholds for adventitious presence and
cooperation between neighbors."

The plaintiffs in this case have until August 2, 2007 to launch an
application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Chronology of Events in SOD Class Action attempt

Jan. 2002
The Saskatchewan Organic Directorate (SOD) announces they are going to
sue Monsanto and Bayer for harm caused by introduction of GM Canola

Nov. 1-2, 2004
First Court date hearing in group's attempt to have their suit brought
as a Class Action claim.

May 11, 2005
Judgment from Court denies the group certification status saying they
failed to meet any of the 5 required criteria for certification as
outlined in the Class Action Act.

May 25, 2005
SOD announces they will appeal. Press release quotes the Chair of SOD's
Organic Agriculture Protection Fund as saying "We want our day in court!"

Aug 30, 2005
Court grants Leave to Appeal.

Oct 30, 2006
Application for Intervention in Appeal Hearing filed by Friends of the
Earth and Saskatchewan Environmental Society filed

Nov 23, 2006
Court denies application to intervene filed by the above mentioned
groups. Dates previously set for Appeal Hearing remain in place.

Dec 11, 2006
Appeal Hearing begins.

May 02, 2007
Saskatchewan Court of Appeal releases judgment dismissing appeal.

For more information, contact:
Trish Jordan
Monsanto Canada
(204 985-1005

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