The judge noted the high level of public interest in the case of the organic farmer who lost his organic certification after his land was contaminated with GM canola.
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Steve Marsh genetically modified canola court case transcripts to be made available online
AAP, 18 Feb 2014
TRANSCRIPTS of the West Australian court case of an organic farmer suing his neighbour for allegedly contaminating his farm with genetically modified canola will be made available online.
Chief Justice Wayne Martin and the presiding judge agreed to allow publication of the transcripts so the public could follow the WA Supreme Court matter.
“Due to the high level of public interest in this case, we believe it is important that we make this transcript available to the wider community,” Chief Justice Martin said.
“Many people who have a real interest in this matter are from rural areas and can't attend the court personally, so by publishing the transcript online, it provides an opportunity to many people that would not otherwise be available.
“This is another way in which the court can be open and accountable and allow the public to learn about how our courts operate.”
Steve Marsh is suing former childhood friend Michael Baxter, claiming he lost organic certification for more than half his farm after GM canola drifted onto his land from Mr Baxter's adjacent property.
In 2010, Mr Marsh's property in Kojanup, south-east of Perth — which farmed oats, rye, and sheep — was certified organic by the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia.
But he alleged GM canola blew 1.5km inside his boundary fence and that caused him to lose his certification.
Mr Baxter claimed when he planted the GM canola, he observed all regulations regarding buffer zones and notifying neighbours. The matter, which began on February 10, is set down for three weeks.
Initially, opening submissions will be available online and then all transcripts will be progressively posted on the WA Supreme Court's website.