Western Australian organic farmer, Steve Marsh pursued a lawsuit against his friend and neighboring farmer, Michael Baxter last May claiming that he lost organic certification for over 70% of his operation after Mr. Baxter’s genetically modified canola blew onto his fields. Mr. Marsh sought $85,000 in damages but was unsuccessful in his claim and was ordered to pay court costs of $804,000.
In March 2015, Mr. Marsh began an appeal of the decision, claiming that Mr. Baxter’s method of ‘swathing’ harvesting had allowed GM canola to remain on the ground and eventually blow onto his fields. This week the West Australian Court of Appeal upheld the previous decision and ruled against Mr. Marsh on his appeal.
It is still undecided if Mr. Marsh will pursue this matter in a higher court.
Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at email@example.com.