>> If the wind blows hard during flowering, and you get a
>> percent or two GMO contamination anyway, then it is your
>> problem. This is not a new issue, and I believe there
>> is legal precedent for all this. I will look into it.
Mike wrote (using hypothetical corn smut as an example)
> Would I not be liable for your losses if my corn smut is
> so agressive that it infects your whole crop and makes it
> unuseable for its intended purpose?
> To prevent me from totally trashing your crops, do you
> have to pay me the opportunity cost of not raising corn
> smut for my new life saving, smut derived wonder drug?
> I am not a lawyer but I find it hard to believe that this
> would be legal.
> I can why Pioneer would adopt this legal position, because
> it means Pioneer won't be liable for all the genetic
> contamination. But if non-GMO farmers lose income because
> their crop is genetically contaminated with GMOs, I don't
> think the *source* of contamination can dodge responsibility
> and escape liability. Howerver, this is something your legal
> system would have to work out.
This is not a new issue at all, and I think the legal precedents already
exist. I called up the ASTA, and sure enough they have someone there who
knows about this, but, they are not in right now. Nevertheless, I will
describe what I have observed in the seed industry.
When a seed company (or private individual) puts out a seed field of an
out-crossing species, they ALWAYS arrange for isolation from other fields of
the same crop. They may finesse it, or buy it, but it is managed by the
party growing the seed. The old-time farmer breeders used to give free seed
of their OP variety to their neighbors to create a buffer zone in order to
keep their seed fields pure. Pioneer, despite using standard (or better)
isolation distances, routinely throws away hundreds of thousands of dollars
worth of seed that somehow got contaminated with foreign pollen from
God-knows-where. We don't think twice about this. The idea of suing
someone for contaminating our seed is..., well, I have never heard it
mentioned. Producing corn for seed is analogous to producing specialty
"organic" corn grain. I think the legal precedents were set 100 years ago
and are not in dispute.
I did a little searching of the legal resource websites, to no avail. I
will be out of town for a few days, and will get back to you when I find out
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