Assume that a company has created genetically modified crop plant. A farmer purchases some seed from this company and plants this seed in his field. Somehow, that genetic modification jumps species and gets picked up by crops in neighbouring fields whose owners do not want this particular modification. Assume that this causes an injury-in-fact.

What liability would the company have to the injured owners?

  • "Jumps species"?
    – user662852
    Jul 8, 2016 at 13:14
  • @user662852 That was my paraphrasing of the question author's original wording. Replace that with "somehow becomes incorporated into a species that didn't originally contain the modification". It is a phrase that is used to describe genetic spread between species.
    – user3851
    Jul 8, 2016 at 16:45

1 Answer 1


Maybe, but it is not an easy thing to do. See MARSH v BAXTER [2014] WASC 187. To be successful the plaintiff would need to prove a failure to observe a duty of care (which would be difficult if regulations on GM crops had been followed) and some actual damage flowing from it.

  • But the manufacturer intentionally would be cross pollinating crops if their polin can get into other types of foods other than their own products.
    – person
    Jul 8, 2016 at 21:55

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