For me and people around the world, the Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser became a hero when he stood up to Monsanto. After the company's genetically engineered (GE) seeds blew onto Schmeiser's canola farm and contaminated his fields, the multinational sued the farmer for growing their patented seeds without permission.
As Schmeiser saw it, Monsanto's stray plants were "pollution and the polluter should pay." But Monsanto prevailed in a Canadian court trial that was "overshadowed by accusations of aggressive tactics and corporate bullying," according to the Guardian of London.
This week, Schmeiser filed suit against the corporation asking to be reimbursed for the $600 (Canadian) it cost to dig up and destroy Monsanto's GE canola seedlings on his land in 2005. The trial was set to begin on January 23. Monsanto admitted their GE seeds had contaminated his field but the company refused to pay unless Schemeiser signed a non-disclosure statement.
"No way would we ever give that away to a corporation," Schmeiser replied. Although the case involves only one small farm in Saskatchewan, it could set a precedent that could cost Monsanto millions in legal settlements around the world. (thanks to the excellent Pesticides Action Network for this update. You can subscribe to PAN's weekly updates on their home page).