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ND farmer, organic certifier calls for farmers to organize against Monsanto over GMO crop contamination

(Oct. 8, 2001 – CropChoice guest opinion) – The following is a piece by Terry Kemmet, a North Dakota grower of organic flax, buckwheat, wheat and conventional potatoes. Kemmet is also president of USA Organics, a small certification agency in Tappen, ND. He and other family farmers are looking into the possibility of launching a co-plaintiff action against Monsanto, for, among other things, trespass with its genetic engineering technology and harm to export markets.

Please note that the views expressed in guest columns such as this one are not necessarily those of CropChoice.

by Terry Kemmet

Monsanto and other companies seem to be polluting organic and commercial crops across the fence, making them unmarketable or, at the very least, worth less money. Our basic constitutional right to property is soon to be lost. Our right to grow the type of plants that we want to grow and market is being overshadowed by the rights of a patent. Soon we won't even be able to save our own seed. If Monsanto does allow us to save it, how much will already be genetically altered? And our government allows this in the name of science and progress and the American way.

I think that an analogy is in order. You know that it may not be illegal for me to keep my wonderful, high-powered bull in a one-wire fence across the section line from your cows, but if my bull gets in and breeds your cows I’m to blame because I’ve trespassed on your property.

The situation is the same for Monsanto. It has all the right in the world to experiment with its GMO’s but it doesn’t have the right to breed my plants, nor yours, nor anyone else’s. The wind and the birds and the insects and the trucks speeding down the highway and countless other avenues of dispersion are taking the pollen, the progenitor of Monsanto’s technology, and spreading it to places it doesn’t belong.

The widespread transgenic contamination of organic and conventional crops that Monsanto and other agribusiness companies have caused with their genetic engineering technology constitutes criminal trespass and must be stopped through our judicial system.

Monsanto is messing with my future and the future of organic and conventional agriculture.

To learn more about how you can get involved in possible litigation against Monsanto, call or e-mail Terry Kemmet at 701-327-8285 or tkembek@bektel.com .