Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Canadian farmer vs. Monsanto on the big screen in 'Percy'


Percy Schmeiser is a Canadian legend.

Schmeiser is the Saskatchewan farmer who went up against biotech giant Monsanto, battling all the way to the Supreme Court. He is regarded as a hero to farmers and environmentalists around the world.

In the late 1990s,in Bruno, Sask., Schmeiser and Monsanto entered into a lengthy legal battle over pesticide-resistant canola seeds.

Monsanto told Schmeiser that he couldn’t use their GMO canola seeds without paying for a license to do so; Schmeiser never bought or asked for Monsanto’s canola seeds, claiming some blew onto his land from another farmer’s field.

Monsanto said pay up. Schmeiser said no. The fight was on.

The very idea of some small-town Canadian farmer in court against Monsanto lent itself to David and Goliath comparisons, and Schmeiser’s story got a lot of attention at the time.

It still does.

Percy, a new film directed by Clark Johnson and starring Christopher Walken as Schmeiser, opened in theatres last Friday in major cities across Canada. The cast of the film includes Zach Braff, Adam Beach, Christina Ricci and Luke Kirby.

This is the sixth film about Percy Schmeiser’s legendary fight with Monsanto.


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