OSGATA President and Maine organic farmer Jim Gerritsen will speak this Wednesday, November 13, at the University of Maine at Machias, in a panel session exploring the topics of genetically-engineered crops and food.
Part of the discussion will focus on the landmark OSGATA et al v. Monsanto lawsuit, which challenges Monsanto’s genetically engineered seed patents and seeks preemptive Court protection for organic family farmers from legal jeopardy should they become contaminated by Monsanto patented seed and then perversely be accused of patent infringement. After receiving a partial victory from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C. in June, the farmers in September filed papers with the U.S. Supreme Court asking for review of the case in their quest for justice and full legal protection.
Gerritsen will also speak about the historic passage of LD 718, Maine’ pioneering GMO Food Label bill which was approved by massive margins in the Legislature last July.
Other panelists in this UMaine Machias discussion will be John Jemison, water quality and soil specialist with University of Maine Cooperative Extension; Eric Jones, assistant professor of plant biology at UMM; and Andrei Alyokhin, professor and graduate coordinator with UMaine’s School of Biology and Ecology. Following opening presentations, audience members will have an opportunity to ask questions. The event, which is open to the public, will be streamed live over the Internet and archived for future viewing at www.machias.edu/umm-live.
The session is the second such panel on Food issues in the Food and Community Series jointly sponsored by UMaine Machias, UMaine Extension and the Libra Foundation. It will be held from 6:00 – 7:30p.m. at Kimball Hall.