Court rules no harm from GM crops

Yahoo News reports:

Organic farmer Steve Marsh has lost a landmark Supreme Court damages case against a neighbour who grew genetically modified canola.

The case, which pitted Mr Marsh against Kojonup neighbour Mike Baxter, attracted worldwide attention and today’s judgment is expected to have major ramifications for farming in Australia.

Justice Ken Martin dismissed Mr Marsh’s claims. A decision on costs was reserved.

Mr Marsh claimed he lost certified organic status on his farm because Mr Baxter failed in his duty of care to prevent contamination from his GM crop. He sought damages of $85,000 and an indefinite ban on Mr Baxter planting and harvesting GM crops.

In his judgment summary, Justice Martin dismissed both causes of action against Mr Baxter – common law negligence involving the breach of a duty to ensure there was no escape of GM material, and the tort of private nuisance.

Evidence at trial was that Roundup Ready (RR) canola swathes were harmless to animals, people and land unless the canola seed germinated in the soil and cross-fertilised.

“There was no evidence at the trial of any genetic transference risks posed by the RR canola swathes blown into Eagle Rest at the end of 2010,” Justice Martin said.

The full court judgment is here.

I quite paragraph 326:

First, as is now established, it has not been shown from any evidence led at this trial that GM canola per se is in any way physically dangerous or injurious to persons, animals or to property.

A win for science. A loss for hysteria.

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