MY UNEXPECTED RUN IN WITH MONSANTO
On April 30, 2014, an activist friend of mine invited me to a play at the National Art Center in Ottawa. Called The Seed, it was about a world famous court case between Monsanto and a Canadian farmer, Percy Schmeiser. Unfortunately, I could not go but my friend did. Early next morning, he asked me to accompany him to a panel discussion at which the playwright would explain what motivated her to produce the play. Both of us went. The meeting was attended
by about 150 people, sitting in the foyer outside the theatre. The panel was composed of three speakers the playwright, the moderator and a Monsanto rep to give her opinion on “a fair and balanced treatment” of the story, which surprised me, due to conspicuously absent Percy. After listening to the playwright the audience heard the Monsanto rep extolling the virtues of her company. While doing so, she spotted me and said: “O, Shiv Chopra”, to which I retorted: “Yep, I am the scientist who got your rBGH booted out of this country”; to which she responded: “And, I feel sorry for what happened to you afterwards”. I kept quiet for a better opportunity until the moderator opened the meeting to questions or comments from the audience. Grabbing the moment I stood up, faced the audience and said: “You just heard the Monsanto truth but I have my own which is described in this book, titled: CORRUPT TO THE CORE: Memoirs of a Health Canada”. Everyone clapped.
On the way back home I asked my friend if the playwright made any reference to how Percy’s wife, Louise, got even with Monsanto due to which they lost half a million dollars in defending themselves. He said no. Too bad I said. I told him that Louise sued Monsanto for $600 in a
small claims court for refusing to pull out their GMO canola growing in her kitchen garden. She won. Small justice, I said, for, although the Schmeisers lost big money, they had the last laugh at Monsanto’s cost for having to pay $600 to them.