1.Farmer sues over GM taint
2.Organic farmer sues GM neighbour
1.Farmer sues over GM taint
The Australian, July 28 2011
A WEST Australian farmer plans to sue his neighbour for allegedly contaminating his organic farm with genetically modified canola in a case that could have national implications.
Grain and meat farmer Steve Marsh was stripped of his hard-won organic accreditation over 70 per cent of his property last December. He said the decision forced him to break sales contracts in Australia and overseas.
The case will allege his neighbour, Michael Baxter, was negligent in allowing his GM canola to blow on to the property. Mr Baxter could not be contacted yesterday, but the ABC reported earlier this year he intended to defend himself against the claim.
Mr Marsh told The Australian yesterday that his livelihood had been devastated and the dispute had split the farming community southeast of Perth. "The last thing that I want to do is to do this to a neighbour that I grew up with and went to school with . . . but this is a real serious problem we've got," he said.
"I have to remove all the GM material and seeds off the property, and when you've got hundreds of plants that blow on to your property and each plant has got thousands of seeds on it, how do you remove all those seeds?"
Lawyer Mark Walter from Slater and Gordon would not reveal the size of the damages sought. He said a writ would be lodged in the WA Supreme Court shortly.
"This is a landmark case. It will examine the legal rights of farmers to choose how and what they farm on their land," Mr Walter said.
2.Organic farmer sues GM neighbour
The Safe Food Foundation, 28 July 2011
WA organic farmer Steve Marsh announces retention of Slater & Gordon Lawyers, and fundraising partnership with The Safe Food Foundation, in legal case against neighbouring GM farmer
Steve Marsh, an organic farmer from Kojonup, Western Australia, whose farm was contaminated by genetically modified (GM) canola in late 2010 leading to the loss of his organic certification by the National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA), today announced he has retained Slater & Gordon Lawyers with the intention to lodge a writ against the GM farmer in the WA Supreme Court to fight for compensation and damages.
Scott Kinnear, long standing organic industry representative and director of The Safe Food Foundation, today announced that the foundation would assist Steve Marsh in partnership with Friends of the Earth Australia.
“Steve has been deluged with offers of help since news of his story broke. The Safe Food Foundation has taken on the coordination of fundraising as a major project in support of Steve and the right of farmers everywhere to grow GM-free foods; which ultimately equals consumers’ right to buy and eat GM-free foods and to avoid potentially dangerous toxic GM foods” said Kinnear.
“There are legitimate concerns, derived from a considerable body of developing research, that GM foods are toxic. A Canadian scientific study published in 2011 and testing the blood of 69 women, found that a GM protein based pesticide toxin was circulating in their bloodstream. Out of these women, 30 were pregnant and 93% of those had the GMO pesticide toxin in their blood. Alarmingly, tests on the umbilical cords of those women after birth established that 80% had the GM pesticide toxin circulating into their babies and out of the 39 non-pregnant women, 69% had the GM pesticide toxin in their blood. 
“The GMO industry had previously told food regulators that the GM pesticide toxin would be broken down during digestion. These findings are alarming, and we believe urgent independent research should be commissioned immediately funded by governments to establish the impact on adult, foetal and child health” said Kinnear
Another recently published paper suggests that roundup may be implicated in causing birth defects and that regulators have been aware of this for some time . Roundup ready GM crops are resistant to the application of Roundup which is used on the crops to control weeds, causing Roundup residues to enter our food chain.
“As an original member of the Gene Technology Grains Committee (GTGC) 10 years ago, I’ve been privy to developments in GM, and aware of the potential for GM-contamination. The organic industry has always argued that the protocols around GM that we’re dealing with today would fail. At the GTGC meetings I made representations on behalf of the organic industry to say that the buffer zones of five metres were grossly inadequate. As the founding Chair of the Organic Federation of Australia, in 2000 I commissioned legal advice from Slater & Gordon on the ramifications of an organic farmer being contaminated and losing certification. In 2010, our worst fears came true with Steve Marsh” said Kinnear.
“The Safe Food Foundation is so concerned about GM contamination of organic and non-GM conventionally produced foods that we are making an offer to supply GM test kits to any grain farmer in Australia who is concerned about contamination of their past or future crops. We believe that Steve Marsh’s case is the tip of the iceberg and that unless stopped, Australia will follow Canada’s dangerous lead, where there is virtually no GM-free canola available.”
Steve Marsh said “I am pleased and relieved that the Safe Food Foundation is fundraising to help my cause and making it possible for me to take legal action through Slater & Gordon Lawyers. I just hope my case helps other farmers out there because if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. I grow food that consumers want to eat and I value their concerns about GM. I just want to be able to meet demand for GM-free, high quality foods.”
For more information:
Bella Gubay, Media Liaison, The Safe Food Foundation
Scott Kinnear, Director, The Safe Food Foundation
 Aris, A. & LeBlanc, S. (2011) Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. ReprodToxicol,
 Antoniou, M et al. (2011) Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark? Earth Open Source, http://safefoodfoundation.org/RoundupandBirthDefects.pdf