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Australian organic farmer loses genetically modified crop test case

Published on May 28, 2014 6:10 PM

SYDNEY (AFP) - An Australian farmer who lost his organic produce licence after his fields were contaminated by a neighbour's genetically modified canola crop failed Wednesday to win his test case for losses.

In a judgment which could influence how GM crops are grown in Australia, Justice Kenneth Martin also denied an injunction to protect Steve Marsh's crops against future contamination.

Marsh sued neighbour Michael Baxter following the loss of organic certification on 70 per cent of his land in 2010, after parts of canola plants and seed from Baxter's farm blew onto his property. He claimed the loss cost him financially.

But in a 150-page judgment, the court noted that genetically modified canola was approved for farming in Australia in 2010 and Baxter did nothing wrong in cultivating and harvesting the crop.

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