"SEEDS" is the title of a celebrated docu-drama by Anabelle Souter, retelling the true story of the legal battle between a Saskatchewan canola farmer, Percy Schmeiser and international bio-tech giant, Monsanto.
|Percy in the 1990s|
In the late 1990s, Monsanto Canada accused Schmeiser of patent infringement, planting their genetically modified canola seed without a license. Schmeiser fought back during a four-year legal battle that went to the Canadian Supreme Court. But that is not all that Schmeiser contested. Goliath mistakenly had intimidated David. Monsanto introduced GMO (genetically modified organisms) crops in 1996 in soya, corn, cotton and grapeseed (canola). Percy was a specialist in breeding and growing canola seeds and plants. He farmed his own organic seeds. Monsanto seed blew to his fields from neighbouring fields. Percy didn't desire Monsanto seed. Sure GMO seed came with promises of less chemicals, increased yields and greater nutrition. But Percy learned that GMO seeds required more chemicals and they dominated the fields and killed organic plants. Monsanto wanted a monopoly over the seed industry. Nonetheless Monsanto threatened Percy and was trying to take away his farm. The company succeeded with other farmers. Percy's view was that Monsanto was making a claim to own the seed that blew to his field, in fact to own all seeds. He questioned whether a gene can be patented and who owns life.
|Eric Peterson in ‘Seeds'|
The play is a Montreal based Porte Parole production. It features Eric Peterson (Corner Gas) as farmer Percy Schmeiser. It has received rave reviews. I want to see it. You should look for it too in your area. Here, locally, it can be see in January.
January 19, 2016 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
January 19 – 21, 2016 – Kay Meek Centre, West Vancouver
January 23, 2016 –The ACT Arts Centre, Maple Ridge
January 28 and 29, 2016 | 8:00pm Main Stage at the Surrey Arts Centre Box Office