New Film Blasts Monsanto’s Treatment of Heroic Canadian Canola Farmer - Episode 87

Listen to the Podcast:

In this week's episode...
Christopher Walken stars in the new outstanding movie, Percy vs. Goliath. The Goliath is, of course, Monsanto.
Now get the back story straight from Garfield Lindsay Miller, who co-wrote this film. Also listen to Percy in his own words, in his interview with Jeffrey Smith. He alleges that a farmer in his community admitted to being bribed with free chemicals for testifying against Percy in a trial.
 

The Institute for Responsible Technology is working to protect you & the World from GMOs (and while we’re at it, Roundup®...)  To find out exactly how we do this and to subscribe to our newsletter visit https://www.responsibletechnology.org/

Notes for this week's Podcast
This week's Transcript

ROUGH TRANSCRIPT:

Speaker 2: (00:08)
Hi everyone. I'm Jeffrey Smith and we are now live with Garfield Lindsay Miller Garfield. You are a co-writer of this amazing new film, Percy versus Goliath, and Percy Spicer is a hero to us, all a personal hero. To me, your film just launched very recently is number one on iTunes in Canada was hit number two in the United States. Uh, that must make you feel great.

Speaker 3: (00:38)
Absolutely. I mean, you know, my, uh, Hilary prior my writing partner, I've been working out for a long time and it's definitely a vindication of all the work that we've been doing, um, to see that it's, you know, having the response that it is,

Speaker 2: (00:52)
We're gonna talk about some of the backstory that didn't make it into the film. And we're going to talk about how the film came together as well. Um, I am so glad Christopher Walken played Percy. Uh, I think he did a great job. Um, I know Percy I've met him on almost every continent and, uh, I, I was, I think that Christopher did a great job. What'd you think?

Speaker 3: (01:17)
Yeah, I mean, I don't think he would have been anybody's, you know, if you're, if you're imagining who's going to play per se, I don't know that anybody would have chosen him as like the first person that comes to mind, but when, uh, when he stepped into the role, he did a fantastic job with the role. And, uh, it was interesting because when he was cast for the role, one of the requests from his agent was that, you know, we don't walk Annise the script. We don't kind of turn it into, you know, this is the walk-in show. And I mean, we never would have done that, but, you know, I think one of the things that was attracted to him about the role was there was something different that people wouldn't necessarily think of him to do. And outside of the rules that are usually plays or is often known for playing, how did you get it?

Speaker 3: (01:57)
Uh, well, we got him through initially because we had a director of Clark Johnson who, um, you know, he's an, he's an actor himself, uh, and he was able to, you know, talk to him and kind of convince him that this would be a good role for him to play. And, um, you know, Clark is really great working with actors and he knows how to speak with them and he knows what they want to do and what's going to get them excited. And so I think it was, it was really in large part, uh, Clark's involvement. And of course, you know, the script, when he read the script, he was excited about that as well.

Speaker 2: (02:30)
Now, people who don't know Percy Spicer and don't know why they should be interested, let's give the FUM now. Okay. We'll get into some of the more detailed pieces, but what happened to Perseus Meiser? Why did I run into him all over the world? Why is he considered a national or international hero? And why was he the subject of a film?

Speaker 3: (02:50)
Well, and back in 98, right around the time that GMOs were kind of first emerging on the scene, uh, first of all, he's a farmer from Saskatchewan, from Bruno Saskatchewan, a small town, uh, in the prairies of Canada and, uh, in 98 or 97, uh, I'm not sure, not sure to get any more with the year wise, but he was, um, contacted. He got a letter from Monsanto basically saying that he had violated their patent law by growing their genetic material on his land without a license. And, and he, you know, he always said that he never wanted their, their, their GMOs on his land. He's a seed saver. He'd been saving the seeds for 40 years and never bought the seeds, never tended to grow the seeds, never one of the seeds. And instead of, you know, settling, which, which most farmers did at the time, because, you know, of course one Santo has a huge legal team and, um, can put a lot of pressure on farmers.

Speaker 3: (03:43)
He decided he's going to not settle, not, not, not pay them anything and took them, you know, went to court with it. And, um, that escalated, which it was a six year legal battle for him. And it went all the way to the Supreme court. And through that process, he, you know, started speaking about it, what he was going through, the experiences that he had, the challenges that he was facing, um, you know, the process threatened his farm. Like he would lost, he could have lost everything and, you know, uh, Monsanto had a lead on everything that he owned. Had he lost at the Supreme court. He would have been bankrupt. Um, wouldn't had a roof over his head, everything would have been gone. So I think the reason that everyone knows about him is because he stood up and against these, you know, you know, make lift this company against considerable odds and took great risks to bring this story.

Speaker 3: (04:38)
His story to the world ended up speaking around the world about it. Um, I mean, just constantly traveling the world, speaking about it and raise the profile of the, the, you know, the anti GMO food movement, um, made it a global issue, you know, received the right livelihood award for environmental protection. He received the Mahatma Gandhi award for, um, civil service, uh, for all that he did. And yeah, he became an icon for, for, for the movement. And that's why we made it. We made the film. We, I learned about his story as he was going through legal battle, Hillary, my co-writer and I, uh, initially were thinking we would do a documentary about it because that seemed like a natural thing to do, but we really didn't realize pretty early on that there was already a documentary had, that had been made and there were others in the works. And we said, well, why don't we turn this into a drama fix, um, a scripted drama, fictionalized account of what happened and, uh, see if we can reach a different audience, because you know, you often with the documentaries, it's a lot of preaching to the converted, so to speak. And the hope is that we can get to tap into people that might not otherwise be exposed to the story is his story and the issues that are, uh, involved in it.

Speaker 2: (05:49)
You know, it strikes me that Monsanto had successfully sued and caused, like as some describe extorted money, uh, from farmers, farmers that didn't even plant Monsanto stuff. You know, they'd say we have records that we went on someone who was representing us when, on your land, which is illegal trespass, took seeds, which is illegal, tested them and verify that your seeds are ours. Now some in some cases they would describe the location of the field and it wasn't even the farmer's field. Right. And, uh, other cases that they would describe, you know, the, they wouldn't necessarily put the percentage. And of course, canola is really small.

Speaker 3: (06:34)
Yeah. You can fit a thousand seeds in your hand or hundreds of seeds in your hands,

Speaker 2: (06:38)
The wind. Right. And I remember, I remember talking to Percy and he said that there was a guy who was bringing canola seeds to market, and he has a first, he has a two mile long road that goes against his next to his farm and the tarp blew off and a big, um, cloud dark cloud of seeds landed. And that, that may have been where they tested for, uh, combination.

Speaker 3: (07:07)
Yeah. I mean, you know, the, the details around his story are rather complex and it was one of the biggest challenges of telling the story. I mean, you don't want to get bogged down in the minutia of it, although the minutia is important. Um, but for me, what was really most important is the fact that here's a farmer who had been saving his seeds all his life. That's been the tradition of his family for farming for, for many generations. And this new technology comes in and he doesn't change anything in his practices. And suddenly he sued, you know, on Centra, went to great lengths to find the person who had quote unquote, sold him the seeds illegally, you know, they investigated, I think probably everybody in the community, it's not a big community. They had, um, you know, they had hired private investigators from, from, they had many people look, you know, investigating them and interviewing people.

Speaker 3: (07:56)
They could never, ever find anybody who did sold them the seeds. Um, because I don't really think that that ever happened. Obviously no one knows, right? Like this is the thing we don't know for sure, but I, I firmly believe that he did not ever buy these seeds or get these seeds from anyone. He never did anything that he had done differently for his, for many, many years for his entire career. And suddenly he's being sued by this company for patent infringement. And, and so that to me was the most, um, compelling part of the story. Uh, you know, some people say, well, he meant to segregate the seeds. He did it on purpose. There's. I mean, there's so many details around how these seeds ended up in his seed supply that I could literally spend that like, like hours talking just about that. Um, but the reality is he did nothing different than he had done the year before the year before that 10 years before that.

Speaker 3: (08:47)
And suddenly now he's being sued and, and, you know, that just seems wrong to, to both Hillary and I, and also of course the issue, you know, the issues of this, these, these independent farmers who are working so hard to bring food to our tables and now their, their livelihoods are threatened and totally changed. You know, he was never able to grow canola again because of this, right? Like that was his, that was the crop. That was a cop he had known forever. And, and then after that, he just couldn't grow anymore because all the, you know, he was worried about it being, getting contaminated again, it was all contaminated. So, um, yeah, that was to us. What most egregious about the story and what we really wanted to tell the story we really wanted to tell?

Speaker 2: (09:29)
No, I did go into the details with him when I interviewed him in 2005. And if you go to the link, that's the description here, and you can also get there at Percy versus Percy vs. goliath.com. It'll bring you to that page, the trailer for your film. Is there the ways to watch your film is there? But I also have the 2005 interview I did with him and he described how the power companies pay people to clear the next to the power lines from canola. So he gets paid and he hired, he has a farm hand who sprays Roundup and notice that 60% of the, or a large percentage of the, of the canola did not die right along the roadway. And so they sprayed again, it still didn't die. And he had his far then collect all of the canola from everything, from all of his fields and see that's what they do.

Speaker 2: (10:27)
And it's a very long piece and it's, and it collects, uh, collected from there as well. Now he was not aware that, Oh, this must be Monsanto's Roundup ready seeds. You see seeds develop resistance automatically. And, and he was surprised to see how many, uh, living plants were there, but he did what he always did collected the seeds replanted the next year. And I really want to tell everyone what the Supreme court and what the courts say, but I don't want to be a plot spoiler, the way you set it up in the film was brilliant. You know, it's like there was tension, there was tension, there was tension and there was results. And so I'm going to not spoil the plot here. Yeah. I mean, it's like, I know what it's like to be a writer and an artist and say, you want to, you want to be in control of the attention, but can you, why don't we do this? Why don't we share some of the stuff that was not in the film that you thought was particularly shocking or agregious or amazing. And now I'll share some of my favorite stories as well. Maybe they're the same ones.

Speaker 3: (11:34)
Yeah. I mean, there's, there's, there's a number of things. Uh, I mean kind of going back to what you were just talking about there. So we, and we, in the film, we depict that, that we kind of talk about that story about how he was spraying around the, the, the power lines. And he noticed that a number of 60% of the plants hadn't died and he was like, what's going on here? And so, I mean, he, he talks about this in court. Um, and so what he did is he, he did a test of about four acres of his land right around there, and the, those, none of those seeds, I mean, again, 60% of them didn't die. And, and what ended up happening is later that same season, he got, it had a very bad injury. And so he was in the hospital and he, and he, uh, asked his assistant to combine that field, swap that field, collect those, harvest those seeds and put them aside.

Speaker 3: (12:22)
Um, and his policy was that he would save the seeds from a field that had been fallowed the previous year, because those seeds tended to have the least amount of weeds in them. And, and so that was just, that was the field that was due to be saved for. Like, he would always do that. And so there was no, I mean, people say, well, he intentionally selected those seeds for his harvest the previous year, but that was just how he always operated. Again, it was, this was this process for year to year. And he had his, his, uh, assistant harvest those seeds and put them aside. And then those were the seeds that he planted. And that was when he ended up getting this infringement. So, you know, did it, was it intentional? Did he say, I want to segregate seeds? Did he know that these were one sentences?

Speaker 3: (13:07)
I mean, I really don't think he did. Some people think that he absolutely did in the film, we don't really land one way or the other, but what, again, what we are really focused on is the fact that this was his policy in terms of other, you know, I mean, there's, there's so much, um, another interesting thing is the year before that field was fallow, it had been, he had rented that land to, uh, another farmer, someone who, um, was, was, uh, growing canola on that land, someone who he says, okay, this is all again. Um, I couldn't, we couldn't put the stuff in the film because we, we have no way we could back this up. So this was, Percy's telling us these stories, this is hearsay, I guess, but this is what one of these stories. I was like, I really wish we could have put it in.

Speaker 3: (13:50)
Is that before? So the person who has had rented the land to, um, was growing canola on there, and the later he found out that that farmer had ties to Monsanto. And he, he said to me, he thinks that that farmer was actually growing GMO canola on the land prior to when Percy took the land back, because it was like these, you know, in 96, 97, whatever year it was the first thing was 96, the first year that, you know, GMO canola enter the marketplace, um, that those seeds had to be grown somewhere. Like they couldn't, they, you know, people were buying them. They had somewhere they had to be growing. And his speculation was that this field was actually one of those places, which would mean that, of course there had been contamination of GM canola in the land from them. So that's another possibility to come from,

Speaker 2: (14:37)
I'll add to something here. So I used to know the numbers cause I quoted it for years as I was traveling around the world. Um, but I wouldn't be fudging it here. Um, when granola, uh, canola a lot of it is very small and lands to the ground. And when you harvest it, I think it's about 10% of the canola that remains in the ground that canola, that remains the seeds, then create plants. And then you harvest that and you harvest that each year. So if you plant GM canola one year and you plant non GM canola, I think it's for about 10 years, you still end up with a bow levels of contamination that are above the European labeling requirements, some 0.9%. So it means you end up with a significant percentage the year after a year of genetically engineered canola, and you can't stop it. You can't get rid of it, can't go in and clean it up with your hands. And so once you plant it, you're contaminated into the future, but not only do the seeds blow because they're really small, the pounded blows and can cross-pollinate and, um, it's so easy. In fact, it's so easy to contaminate canola that organic canola farmers tried to create a class action lawsuit against Monsanto because they couldn't grow non GMO canola anymore because all of the canola was contaminated.

Speaker 3: (16:03)
They did. And the same lawyer who represented Percy, uh Terry's of the Kresge, um, that he ended up representing them as well in the class action. Yeah. Um,

Speaker 2: (16:15)
The judge ruled against the class action, so they dismissed it. And it's interesting. Another friend of mine tried to get a class action in the us for a different thing against Monsanto. And it was, it was struck down by the judge and it came out in the New York times. And that judge was the lawyer of record for Monsanto previously, never declared it and never recused himself. And of course, Clarence Thomas who's on the Supreme court used to work for Monsanto. And he wrote the opinion on a piece that, that pushed Monsanto's fortunes ahead without recusing himself. So it's like a, to try and win in the courts is a very risky thing. And you'll see what personally risked in movie, Percy vs Goliath, which is a great movie, go to Percy, Percy versus goliath.com. You kept to our page. You can watch in the words of Percy and you can watch the film.

Speaker 2: (17:09)
Now I want to share what he told me that what he told me in 2005, he hadn't told anyone else. So I was like, I was planning to write a second book. I wrote a book seeds of deception about health. I was planning to write a second book about agriculture, but I ended up writing a second book about health because it needed to go deeper. So I never wrote the book where Percy was going to be a whole chapter. So my interview with him was like poorly lit and it's like, it wasn't supposed to be visible. It was just to be my background material as a writer is, you know, you sit there, you take a note to you, record it. Well, I recorded it with a video instead of an audio. So if you know, I had looked at it in 16 years and when your film came out and went, we need to, and I was on tape, you know, different cameras. So I had them trained, you know, digitized and put together. And, uh, but I'm there. He told me that someone had lied on the stand, clearly lied about him buying the seeds or, uh, or treating seeds.

Speaker 3: (18:16)
It was, it was the, I think the, I think another fair you're talking about, uh, the person at the co-op where he would have had a seed stored, um, who, so, you know, w when you sell your, when you sell, you take your seats to the marketplace, basically they, they depict this in the film, you kind of dumped your seeds and they take the sample and they hold on a sample of your seeds. And the person who's in charge of that had, you know, I mean, again, this is, well, the story that he told me, I, we could not verify this. I know that he also told this story to his lawyer. Cause I talked to Terry about it and he remembers it happening. But, um, you know, there was no, there's no proof of this, but that he had, um, you know, gone, uh, to this person, you know, drop the liver, the seeds, they take a sample of the seed.

Speaker 3: (19:01)
And then when Monsanto came, the person gave those, sent that sample, like, you know, as part of the process legal process, he gave that sample to one center, which actually wasn't supposed to apparently supposed to do like that person's property, even though they have it, uh, on hand there, but that he gave it to my center. And then they tested that. And they said that the, there was a 99% contamination. That was basically pure GMO seed that went into the, the legal cases. That was the part of the evidence against him. And then years later, he ran into the same person who had testified against him at a hockey rink, I guess there, I think that his first, his granddaughter was ice skating and he was there and the man came up to him and said, you know, uh, I, that, wasn't your thing.

Speaker 2: (19:43)
Well, he didn't say it then he's he invited us that I want to talk to you. Right. So first he goes over to his four. This is Morris. Okay. So he goes over to the farm and he goes, see that chemical, there was all these chemicals for Monsanto. And he said, he basically got that chemical for free to testify against Monsanto. And you'll see it in person interview. And you'll see him in person, these words, you perjured yourself. I says, that's right. He was admitting that he lied to Percy who visited him on his farm, who pointed out that he had received three chemicals. Yeah. Two to two additional pieces. Another person had come up to him and said they were offered $25,000 worth of chemicals from Monsanto just to speak out publicly or perjured themselves, or to testify that he had that the person who told Percy said he had been offered 25,000 and someone else that he knew happened for 25,000. The other thing that Percy says is that within two or three months, Morris who admitted this was, was dead from a liver issue. And Percy suspect that the guy knew he was dying. Right. And did not want to die with this on his conscience. Yeah.

Speaker 3: (21:10)
So that's what Percy tells us. That's what, that's the same story he told me.

Speaker 2: (21:13)
Yeah. So anyway, you'll see on my site. And, uh, I sent this note to bear who bought Monsanto last week. And I said, according to, uh, it was actually someone at our Institute for responsible technology said, we have did an interview. You'll see what we sent them. Would you like to come? It, it was basically these allegations and you'll see the result. You'll see what bear says in response to that. It's right up there at the top, just click it, it opens up and you'll see what they say and how, what they chose not to say. So, um, yeah,

Speaker 3: (21:50)
I mean, these are the things, you know, again, we would have loved to put these elements in the film, but we had to have everything very closely vetted. Every word is vetted by a lawyer, um, to make sure that because, you know, obviously we're all, all the producers in the production is concerned about legal issues, you know, Monsanto and Bayer, let's just companies, as I'm sure you're aware,

Speaker 2: (22:11)
You wrote a whole book and you did a whole movie about the fact that I believe, of course they are. Yes.

Speaker 3: (22:16)
So exactly. So, you know, we had to be very careful, uh, and, and we couldn't put these stories in, um, you know, it's this, and then I understand that. I mean, it's, you know, someone's word and you want to have something, make sure it's in the public record for, for, for accuracy.

Speaker 2: (22:32)
Speaking of accuracy, can you tell us without, I mean, not the areas that will spoil the plug, what was, what did you have to create as an aggregate personality or what did you have to like what was accurate and what was not accurate, but approximate? Sure. I mean, you know, a lot of

Speaker 3: (22:50)
The role of writing a story about, you know, writing a film, which takes place over a hundred minutes, you know, taking six years, seven years of someone's life and bringing it down to 90 minutes is about figuring out how to, how to tell a story as efficiently and effectively as possible. And that requires taking multiple characters in Korean composites, you know, in real life, the Schmeissers have a large family, multiple children, grandchildren, many grandchildren. And so we just felt that would be so many characters. It'd be very difficult to kind of keep track of all that. We have one, one son who kind of represents the family and one granddaughter who kind of represents the hope for the future,

Speaker 2: (23:30)
By the way I interviewed Percy's son, John, and that's also at the link and I interviewed him like three days, four days ago. So you can catch up, what was it like for him when the family was being attacked by what's happened? Go ahead. Yeah, no, I mean, John's been great

Speaker 3: (23:46)
In supporting the film. Obviously it's very sad that Percy passed away last October. So, uh, um, he wa he hasn't been able to, you know, support the film itself, but John has done a great job of getting the film out there. And I, and from what we understand, uh, he in the family are very happy about it. Um, and, and so that's, that was a huge relief for Hillary and I, and all of the producers involved, you know, in terms of telling a story about someone in a family, you, you really are, you want to get it right. You want to make sure that you're not upsetting them

Speaker 2: (24:19)
Little documentary. I did a documentary about several people called secret ingredients, and we showed it to the FA the primary family, and they were happy with it. So anyway, yeah,

Speaker 3: (24:29)
Superstar is like one of the biggest stresses of all the bras you don't want to be, you don't want to, they they're, they're pressing you to tell their story. You want to tell it accurately. And yeah,

Speaker 2: (24:37)
I'll tell you one thing, you know, when I was writing seeds of deception, the first chapter was all about our pod poos, Ty. And I spoke to him for days and days, but it was easy. I just sent him what I wrote and said, is this accurate? So I had it easy, you know, you have to translate it into film and all this stuff. Anyway.

Speaker 3: (24:56)
So other compensates, uh, you know, uh, Rebecca SoCo who plays, uh, is played by, uh, Christina Ricci, she is kind of represents the, uh, I guess the NGO movement that tries to help get the story out in a sense he uses per se, to get to for their own means. Now, is this accurate exactly how it happened? No, absolutely not. There's a lot of creative Liberty taken there, but again, it was, uh, you know, our decision to try and figure out how to streamline the story as much as possible. Um, those are the kind of the biggest composites, uh, in terms of characters, uh, that we kind of put together, you know, like it, there were, we tried to, um, you know, the Monsanto had a number of lawyers. Initially that number does grow when you go from the initial case, uh, on the, on the, uh, provincial level then to like the appeal, you'd get it grows again.

Speaker 3: (25:48)
And then when you get to the Supreme court, there's literally had 19 lawyers there. So that, and it was always just Terry. I mean, there were other people, NGOs that came in and spoke on behalf of Percy at the Supreme court, but Terry was really all on his own. And so that was that we didn't have to do accomplish that there, but we did change the characters names. I mean, we changed everybody's names again, according, um, based on our lawyer's recommendation, we changed the names of everyone except person Louise. Um, just even though, because you know, it was just make it less. Yeah.

Speaker 2: (26:19)
To me, you have to be, uh, in touch with your inner attorney. Yeah,

Speaker 3: (26:24)
Absolutely. Yeah. We, and we have read every line of the script is vetted and we have to do, like, we document it. We show where we get, if, if, if anything is attributed to something a Monsanto lawyer said or something that their PR people said, we would have to go and find that in the record. And like, then put that in the script and lawyers would look that and say, okay, yeah, we, you can use this. So it was, it was a really meticulous process

Speaker 2: (26:47)
During the words that were used, um, by Christopher Walken during the court scene. Were those accurate word for word or they composite?

Speaker 3: (26:58)
No, those were, I mean, again, we're cutting down, uh, you know, a great deal of the court transcript for thousands of pages, but every word in there is exactly what he said.

Speaker 2: (27:09)
I was wondering about that because when I was planning to do the chapter, which I never did, I was going to get all the court records and pull all the things. I know what it's like, man, how many years did it take to put this out?

Speaker 3: (27:21)
Well, I mean, we, I was trying to look today, cause I knew we were gonna talk about this about like when exactly we started. And I think it was around 2003, 2004, when we first, you know, I first read an article in common ground magazine, which is like a alternative magazine out of Vancouver, British Columbia, uh, about a story. And I brought that to Hillary Pryor, who is my producing partner, who I was working with at the time, uh, in Victoria, British Columbia. And you know, that was, yeah, that was 2003. And then we, you know, we reached out to Percy and Louise and I said, you know, we really love to tell your story. How do you feel about that? They were excited. So then we, uh, you know, Canada is, is a great country for filmmakers and that there's, there's quite a bit of, uh, support, uh, for development of projects.

Speaker 3: (28:06)
And so we applied to telephone Canada, which is a major feature film funding body. And they, uh, you know, the story was national news at the time. It was. So they, they thought it would be a good one to support. And so we were very fortunate to get some, some money that allowed us to option his story, you know, the, and start writing. And I think, yeah, I think that was, it had to be around 2004 to, I think, 2005. And then, you know, the film was released in Canada in the fall of last year. Um, so that's what 15, 16 years of of work. And I mean, obviously when I work full time on it, but that was how long it took. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2: (28:46)
For and Canada, why did you have one name in Canada? One day in the U S yeah.

Speaker 3: (28:51)
Yeah. That's a good question. I think you'd have to talk to the various distributors about that. Um, you know, the name was always, I mean, we had various names as we were working on it. I think initially we were thinking, blowing in the wind was one that we kind of toyed around with. And then, um, I think the working title when we were writing with Percy versus, uh, firstly versus Monsanto, like the basically, I mean the, the court case was Monsanto versus Schweizer. Um, but we thought that was a good one to work with. And then, uh, you know, I think that was, and then in terms of when we got to production, I think we just changed it to Percy and in Canada released to the first day and then the U S they wanted to, I guess, bring in that kind of biblical struggle a bit more, which, which I like. Uh, and so in the U S this Percy versus Goliath, I imagine that will be what is, is internationally as well. In fact, there's a, there's a documentary

Speaker 2: (29:42)
David versus Monsanto in front of my bed. It's a great film. So, um, is there anything else you want to add before we wrap up? I have to say, I want to, let me just chime in here about my experience with Percy and I'd love to hear your heart. Um, I remember that one of the first times I saw him speak was at Bioneers plenary. Um, I don't know if you've seen that. And I was crying. There was 5,000 people in the audience crying. There was 20,000 people that were connected by satellite. They were all crying, cause it was like, it is kind of not biblical archetypal, archetypal, what he was saying about what Monsanto was doing to farmers and farm communities and seed saving and how they were using the law and what not. And I was at the time already, a non GMO activist.

Speaker 2: (30:38)
I have been doing that for 25 years and I realized his story was sensational. You know, it was tragic and sensational. And I have to, like you said, NGOs who used it for their good, okay. So it's like, I have to say this. Like when I was interviewing our pod poos Tai and our, I, I re I finished all my days of interviewing. He read everything. I had written the chapter and then I read another thing where he had been burglarized and all of his scientific notes had been stolen so that he didn't have a copy of them. And I called him up and I said, you never told me you were burglarized. He said, well, I didn't think that was important. I said, firstly, this is great news. It wasn't great news for him. But like, I like to show the outrageous behavior of Monsanto.

Speaker 2: (31:30)
So I, you know, from a drama storytelling standpoint, this archetypal story, it catches the blood and it, you know, he spoke all over the world. He's one of the two people in the world that's spoken more than me on GMOs. And I'm like, yes, Percy, thank you for sacrificing your health and your life traveling around the world and doing this. Um, but it was like the concept of what Santo did to this poor farmer. And they picked the wrong guy. He's not, he was the mayor of his town. He was a member of the, of the provincial legislature. He was, he, he was a community builder. He had climbed in the Himalayas. You know, he was, he was a powerhouse and they weren't going to go against him. As John says, and my interview for this son, he's like, he dug in his German, heals his German heritage heals every time Monsanto came up against him. So it was like the perfect person, the perfect story. And I am so grateful for you to have written it and stayed with it all these years, nearly 20 years to see the fruit of your labors. So back over to you. Oh, well, uh, yeah,

Speaker 3: (32:45)
I mean, I agree with everything. I think the, the description of it as an archetypal story is, is, is absolutely right on, and, you know, the, the whole concept of GMOs, the notion that this, especially with Monsanto and the creation of it, and, you know, I'm sure, you know, much better than I, but one of the most profound things about it is that it emerged as a way to sell more chemicals, not as a way to feed people and increase health. And like that, that the, the, that it was all about profit, nothing else for the company. I mean, really from the, from the onset. And of course the marketing and branding of it was something very different, but the reality of it was just a way to extend their patents on their chemicals and to sell more of them. And, um, that, that I feel like it is the, the, this, this notion that there's, you know, people's wellbeing in livelihood, getting trampled by the need, the greed and the need for more, just more profits with, with, with no interest in the common good or the public good.

Speaker 3: (33:46)
And, and here was someone who was, you know, very, as you say, like this, and this was another area where we definitely differed from the reality, like, versus was in the public sphere before, you know, he was swept up into this case. He was the mayor of his town. He was an MP for the, in the province. Um, and we, but we felt it was, you know, even take the art type further. We felt it was important to tell the story from, but just he's a farmer. And then he gets swept up into this. But yeah, he was a sensitive, very sensitive man. Although he was as tenacious as anyone, he was very sensitive and emotional and would wear his heart on his sleeve and was the most generous person, like when we went to meet with him and LEAs and talk with them, both, uh, you know, they would just welcome us in.

Speaker 3: (34:29)
And it was, it was a very salt of the earth. Very, there was no pretense about it. It was, uh, I mean, yeah, I mean, very, uh, just what you saw is what you got and they, you know, it was, it was, it was wonderful and spending time with them. And, uh, I mean, one little other story that, that I thought was really profound about it. We ended up filming on a farm in Manitoba. Um, we shot the film in Manitoba because of, for tax credit purposes, although it took place in Saskatchewan and, you know, we were looking for a farm to film on and it turned out that we finally found the farm. We found out that the farmer and this was not, it was all coincidence. The farmer who was farming was, had actually supported Percy. He was one of the people that had been sending in checks back in the day when Percy was, you know, struggling financially during the legal battle.

Speaker 3: (35:18)
And, uh, so we ended up, there's a photo in the film of at one point where he goes, and he looks at reads the letters at these, these people, these farmers are sending him, supporting him in his cause in the photo in that is of a family, is, is of the family of the people on the farm we were filming. And I mean it, and it was, and it's the same, you know, these, the people that are, uh, the Mathison family, they like these people are they're farmers. This is their livelihood. They're very much, you know, this means so everything to them. And, and so, and, you know, meant everything to personally. And he really knew that it meant everything to all the people that he was supporting. And so, yeah, we were just felt very fortunate to be able to be a part of all that.

Speaker 2: (35:56)
That's fantastic. I want to say that, um, for your information, because I have a different lens of the whole GMO thing as a, as the one I've worked on Percy was the poster child for Monsanto to use, to demonstrate to other farmers don't cross Monsanto pod poos. Ty was the poster child for scientists saying don't cross Monsanto. He was fired and his reputation destroyed. And then Zambia was the poster child for a country that tried to say, no, we don't want, we don't want genetically engineered green as has, um, famine relief because GMOs are supposed to feed the world. In each case, it was the basic tenant of GMO's are there to feed the world. They're safe and they're good for farmers. And these three poster children were saying, no, they're not. And they got the full wrath because they had to be pummeled humbled so that no one else would show the truth, that it doesn't actually feed the world, that it isn't safe.

Speaker 2: (37:11)
And that it's bad for farmers because those were the three main lies and that it was well-regulated which, which is the fourth. And so they just, they just hid that by having their own people, uh, put into the FDA, et cetera, and their own people working on their behalf, health, Canada. Um, and I do want you to what you said. He works hard on the sleeve. I was, he was in a panel once where I was interviewing him, uh, with several people I asked, like, what were some of the Shabbos shocking moments, or what were the life lessons that you learned? And at one point, Percy just got very personal and was crying about what it was like for his self, his family for Louise. And he got the most beautiful standing ovation. He was not, he knew that it was okay for him to be emotional.

Speaker 2: (38:00)
You know, even though, even though he is Canadian German roots, even though he knew it was okay, because that was the only way he communicated. That was him. It was just who he was. Absolutely. And it was, he was such a profoundly impactful speaker. I want to encourage people go to Monsanto verse. That's a vs. I mean a Percy verse Goliath, sorry, personally, first Goliath. There's a link to it on the side. You can watch Percy in his own words and please watch the trailer. And after you watch the trailer to Percy versus Goliath, watch the film, watch the film. Not only because it's a good film, but it supports those that have decided to, to invest in getting the truth out. So people like to make donations for all these things, put your donation budget into your entertainment, budget, and pay for the film and watch the film and support those that spent so many years putting it together so that other of these type of revelation narratives can be brought into the, to the, to the, to your movie theater, into your home theater.

Speaker 3: (39:12)
Thank you so much Jeffrey for saying that, you know, I just was at a festival, uh, at earth S X festival just to quickly, uh, point out that I was talking with the person, the curator of the festival. And he said, you know, there's so few films that get made that are like this. And, you know, it's a real shame because these are the stories that people need to hear. And why do you think that is? And it's really, really hard to make these films, you know, everybody's like, who wants to see a film about patent infringement who wants to see a building with a farmer? Cause like, yeah, you have to, it's a huge uphill battle to try and get these stories made. You know, the budgets that are required are obviously in the millions. And so by supporting these films, you're, you're, you're speaking that you're saying that you want more of them. So that's, that's really appreciated.

Speaker 2: (39:53)
And for everyone listening, please share this interview because that way you multiply, if you know, you're already here at this point in the interview and our discussion, you're in it. So now it's like, yeah, I'm going to go pay for it. And I'll tell a thousand of my closest personal friends by sharing it on social media. I want to remind people, go to Percy versus Goliath. I want to thank you Garfield for your work on this. And this is a story that needed to be told and you and your partner wrote it and congratulate for so many writers. I know who don't get their stuff made into a movie with an a list actor playing the main character. Oh my God. Congratulations.

Speaker 3: (40:38)
Thank you, Matt Jeffrey. Thank you for supporting the film and uh, for all the work that you do. Sure. My pleasure.

Speaker 4: (40:51)
Thank you for listening to live healthy. Be well, please subscribe to the podcast. Using whatever app you listen to podcasts with, or go to live healthy, be well.com to subscribe. This podcast will inform you about health, dangerous corporate and government corruption and ways we can protect ourselves, our families and our planet. I interview scientists, experts, authors, whistleblowers, and many people who have not shared their information with the world until now, please share the podcast with your friends. It was enlightened and may even save lives. SAPD.

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