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Profile: Trish Jordan
March 29, 2001
“What’s really important for us [Monsanto] is the 30,000 Canadian farmers who have signed agreements now know that there is a commitment to fair play and a level playing field.… They can continue to access this technology and gain value from it if that is something they choose to do.”
[Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 3/30/2001, pp. 121]
Trish Jordan was a participant or observer in the following events:
Monsanto says there are additional farmers, fewer than 100, who it believes are infringing on the patent they have for Roundup-resistant plants. “Whether or not those will go forward [to court] or not time will tell,” Monsanto spokeswoman Trish Jordan says. “Our preference is to settle these things out of court, but that doesn’t always happen.”
[Canadian Press, 7/21/2001]
After Percy Schmeiser finds volunteer Roundup Ready Canola plants growing in a 50-acre parcel of his farm that was chemically fallowed, he calls Monsanto and asks them to remove the plants. In 2000, a federal court issued an injunction barring him from growing any plants containing the company’s patented genes and cells (see March 29, 2001). A team of Monsanto investigators shows up and offers to remove the plants. But before they do so, they ask him to sign a legal release, prohibiting him from speaking publicly about the settlement terms and releasing the company of all liability. Schmeiser refuses. “I flatly refused to sign any release that would take my freedom of speech or my rights away,” he says. “They must think I’m absolutely crazy I would ever sign my rights away.” According to the company’s inspectors, the plants appear to have grown in a uniform pattern inconsistent with pollen flow. They also say that it is not normal for canola plants to flower in late September. In a letter dated September 30, Schmeiser responds that the dispersal pattern of the plants are not uniform and are thickest by the road, which is what one would expect if they germinated from seed blown of trucks or from a neighboring farm. He also notes that canola seeds may germinate at any point during the year, if conditions are right. With neither side willing to give in to the other’s demands, Schmeiser removes the plants himself on October 21. Monsanto spokesperson Trish Jordan insists the company is under no legal obligation to remove plants that show up in fields uninvited. [Western Producer (Saskatoon), 10/26/2005]
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