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Steve Marsh loses WA Supreme Court of Appeal in a 2/1 Judgment and seeks leave to Appeal to High Court of Australia

October 2015

A WA organic farmer has been hailed a hero after losing a landmark battle with his GM neighbour – in a case that has global implications.

Steve Marsh lost organic certification on his Kojonup farm – and most of his livelihood – when his farm was contaminated by GM canola in late 2010. He sued his neighbour Michael Baxter in the WA Supreme Court for his losses, and to protect his farm into the future. He lost that original trial before Justice Martin held in February 2014.

Steve appealed to the WA Supreme Court of Appeal which was heard in March of 2015. Steve lost the appeal in a decision that was split two judges to one judge. Justice McLure, the President of the WA Supreme Court of Appeal found in favour of Steve Marsh while her two colleagues upheld Justice Martin’s original decision despite finding some flaws in his judgment.

In October of 2015 Steve Marsh filed an application for Special Leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia. Not all applications are granted. The legal costs are substantial in the application for Special Leave and if he is granted leave to run an appeal case before the High Court. The Safe Food Foundation is continuing to support Steve Marsh in his endeavours to get protection for his farm and our right to choose. Please help by donating now.

The bio-technology giant and owner oif the GM canola, Monsanto, has confirmed they have contributed to Mr Baxter’s legal costs.

Steve Marsh’s landmark case was run by law firm Slater & Gordon which contributed its legal services to the public interest case.

The Safe Food Foundation covered other costs associated with Steve Marsh’s case, thanks to thousands of people in Australia and more than 20 other countries who contributed to a legal fighting fund.

Scott Kinnear, director of the Safe Food Foundation, says Steve Marsh’s issue is resonating worldwide.

“Steve Marsh is a hero – he is risking everything to stand up for something he believes in – to grow the GM-free organic crops that consumers want.”

“Ultimately this is about the consumer’s right to choose at a time when the health risks of GM foods are under the spotlight world wide. Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, that is used with this GM canola and thereby increases residues of Roundup in our food supply, is also being accused by scientists of causing harm to health. There is worldwide call for people to test for Roundup residues in themselves and their families.”

“Without protection for farmers like Steve Marsh, we will have fewer and fewer options to purchase GM-free food.”

Please support Steve Marsh to go to the High Court of Australia.

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