Percy Schmeiser-David versus Monsanto

Bertram Verhaag | 2009 | 65 min.

2011 Official Selection

Imagine that a storm blows across your garden – and that now, without your knowledge and without your consent, foreign and genetically-manipulated seeds are in your vegetable patch which you have nourished and maintained for many years. A few days later, representatives of a multi-national corporate group pay you a visit at home, demand that you surrender your vegetables – and simultaneously file a criminal complaint against you, resulting in a fine of $20,000.00 – for the illegal use of patented and genetically-manipulated seeds. What’s more: The court fights for the corporate group! Yet you fight back… This short story is no tall tale – rather, around the world, the bitter truth. It is also the true experience of the family of Percy und Louise Schmeiser in Canada, also winners of the Alternative Nobel Prize, who meanwhile have been fighting the chemicals and seed manufacturer Monsanto since 1996. Nowadays, nearly three-fourths of genetically-manipulated plants harvested worldwide originate from Monsanto labs. Monsanto is a U.S.-based corporate group which calls dismal inventions such as DDT, PCB and Agent Orange its own. In its effort to gain absolute hegemony over plants – from the field all the way to the consumer’s plate – Monsanto knows no qualms. The farmers Troy Rush, David Runyon and Marc Loiselle also learned the hard way what it means to be confronted with Monsanto’s methods of doing business, as did thousands of other farmers worldwide. They and the Schmeisers are not just fighting against Monsanto – and with that, for the continuation of their livelihood as farmers – but also for the right to freedom of speech and the right to their property. Yet above all, they are campaigning for the future of their children and grandchildren – so that they, too, will have a chance to grow up in a world without genetically-manipulated food. David vs. Monsanto proves that an individual can hold the power to confront policymakers, large corporations and the business world.