More good news from the US. This is a major step forward, considering California is the 8th largest economy in the world.A landmark piece of legislation protecting California‘s farmers from devastating lawsuits was passed through both legislative houses at the end of August.  Bill AB 541 is headed to the Governor’s desk for signature.  AB 541 is the first bill passed by the California legislature that brings much-needed regulation to genetically engineered crops.

AB 541 enacts protections against lawsuits brought against California farmers who have not been able to prevent the inevitable – the drift of GE pollen or seed onto their land and the subsequent contamination of their non-GE crops. Currently, farmers with crops that become contaminated by patented seeds or pollen have been the target of harassing lawsuits brought by biotech patent holders, particularly Monsanto. The bill also establishes a mandatory crop sampling protocol to prevent biotech companies that are investigating alleged violations from sampling crops without the explicit permission of farmers.

A copy of the bill can be downloaded at: