Pesticide Contamination Constitutes Illegal Trespass

According to this article, the Minnesota Court of Appeals recently ruled in favor of Oluf Johnson, an organic farmer who sued the Paynesville Farmers Union Cooperative Oil Co. because pesticides sprayed on its crops contaminated his fields. The court ruled that the drifting of pesticides onto Johnson’s farm constituted trespass.

This victory is potentially very meaningful, if it is used as a precedent in cases involving GMO crops. Every time Monsanto genetically alters a seed, it patents that seed. That patent allows it to sue any farmer whose crops are contaminated by its seeds – even if that farmer doesn’t want the GMO seeds and has not intentionally planted them – claiming the farmer has violated Monsanto’s patent.

However, this ruling could lay the groundwork for organic farmers to claim that the drifting of GMO seeds onto their property, like pesticides, is trespass. It is not organic farmers who violate Monsanto’s rights, but quite the opposite.

The ruling could give victimized farmers a vehicle for claiming damages. What’s more, due to the fact that, when GMO seeds are planted, it is inevitable that they will be wafted onto neighboring farms, it could give courts the legal grounds for preventing Monsanto from continuing to plant GMO fields, at least in certain locations. If GMO crops are planted close enough to non-GMO farms that planting them necessarily leads to illegal trespass, then surely it must be illegal for Monsanto to plant in such locations. It seems sometimes that Monsanto always wins when it goes to court, but this ruling appears to be a step in the right direction.

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Giovanna F.
Giovanna F1 years ago

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Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra5 years ago

Thank you Sarah, for Sharing this!

This is exactly what the Farmers who lost their Farms to Montsanto, should do. Remember, Montsanto Claimed that because the Wind blew the Seeds into the other Farms and their GMO Crops were growing there, that the Farmer was Guilty of Infringing on their Patent. In the first place, the GMO's Contaminated the Crops and, because Montsanto Allowed their Seeds to go onto the neighboring Farms, they should also be Guilty of Illegal Trespass.

AmberAmber Martingale
Angela Roquemore5 years ago

Of course it's trespass but can the scientists tracking the national butterfly (the Monarch, which is ALSO the California STATE butterfly) sue Monsanto if it's products contaminate the food supply of the Monarch Butterfly enough to throw out the Monarchls breeding cycle?

Nils Lunde
PlsNoMessage se5 years ago


J.L. A.
JL A5 years ago

thanks for helping foster hope by sharing this news!

KS Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Andy O.
Past Member 5 years ago


Pollyn L.
Pollyn Chan5 years ago

Cheers and justice to Mother Nature!

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

thank you

Shelly Peterson
Shelly Peterson5 years ago

YES!!!..Another victory!!! Keep signing every petition you can find against Monsanto!!!Thankyou!!