!! History Commons Alert, Exciting News
Profile: Keith Downey
Positions that Keith Downey has held:
- Emeritus professor of Agricultural Canada and University of Sasakatchewan
Keith Downey was a participant or observer in the following events:
Aaron Mitchell, Monsanto’s lead investigator in the Percy Schmeiser case, sends seed samples that were taken from Percy Schmeiser’s farm in 1997 (see August 18, 1997) to Keith Downey, emeritus professor of Agricultural Canada and University of Saskatchewan. Mitchell has been in possession of the seeds since the fall of 1997. The seeds were stored in coin envelopes. When Downey receives the seeds there are very few left—one envelope only contains two seeds, while the envelope with the most seeds has only about 30. According to Schmeiser, the envelopes should contain between 200 and 800 seeds each. Schmeiser, who has been invited to witness the planting of the seeds, later claims that the sample includes numerous cleaver seeds. Schmeiser also says that the sample includes cracked seeds and debris indicating that they had been through a combine. If these samples were indeed the ones taken in 1997, there should be no cleaver seeds, cracked seeds, or debris, Schmeiser’s lawyer will later note in the closing argument of Schmeiser’s June 2000 trial (see June 5, 2000-June 21, 2000). Downey’s grow-out of these seeds results in a 50 percent germination rate. All the resulting plants prove resistant to Roundup. [Federal Court of Canada, 6/22/2000, pp. 17 ; Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Percy Schmeiser, 3/29/2001, pp. 20 ]
The Saskatoon Star Phoenix reports that Monsanto’s legal costs for suing Percy Schmeiser amount to $726,768.10 CAD. [Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 7/24/2001] Reportedly, of that amount, $30,000 CAD was paid to Dr. Keith Downey, one of the scientists who testified against Schmeiser. [Institute of Science in Society, 9/2002] Schmeiser’s lawyer, Terry Zakreski, tells the newspaper that he believes Monsanto will attempt to seek about $220,000 CAD of that amount. [Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 7/24/2001]
Receive weekly email updates summarizing what contributors have added to the History Commons database
Developing and maintaining this site is very labor intensive. If you find it useful, please give us a hand and donate what you can.
If you would like to help us with this effort, please contact us. We need help with programming (Java, JDO, mysql, and xml), design, networking, and publicity. If you want to contribute information to this site, click the register link at the top of the page, and start contributing.