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News2011August › Legal judgement gives new hope to environmentalists in GM, pesticides fight › August 2011

Legal judgement gives new hope to environmentalists in GM, pesticides fight

Environmentalists campaigning against GM crops and toxic pesticides have been handed a powerful legal weapon that could have far-reaching implications

Environmentalists campaigning against GM crops and toxic pesticides have been handed a powerful legal weapon that could have far-reaching implications.
An appeals court in Minnesota, US, has ruled that pesticides that had carried on the wind to an organic farm had "trespassed". The farmer is entitled to sue for damages to his crops as they cannot be sold as organic.
Although it is a state ruling, it could be applied in other states and might even influence judgements in courts outside the US. Legal experts are already weighing up the full implication of the ruling; it could mean that any farmer whose crops are damaged by pesticides - or even by GM 'drift' - could sue for damages, as could a homeowner whose garden is affected by a neighbour's over-zealous use of a powerful pesticide such as RoundUp.
Minnesota is not the first state to recognise the damage that can be caused by pesticide drift. A Californian court awarded a farmer $1m in damages when fog carried pesticides onto his farm, where he was growing organic herbs and which he had to destroy.
(Source: Star Tribune newspaper; http://www.startribune.com/local/126151483.html).


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