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Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto over GM Seed

Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto over GM Seed

A group of organic farmers and seed dealers is preemptively suing agribusiness/biotech giant Monsanto to protect themselves from legal action by the corporation in cases when Monsanto seeds contaminate their organic crops. The suit is intended to protect farmers from charges of patent infringement by Monsanto when the farmers’ crops are contaminated by Monsanto’s patented, genetically modified seed. Under current law, if Monsanto seeds are found in a farm for which they were not purchased, Monsanto is legally entitled to sue, even if the seeds drifted over accidentally or by natural cross-pollination. The suit was filed by the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) on behalf of 60 farmers, seed businesses and organic agriculture organizations, representing some 270,000 members.

Monsanto’s blog called the lawsuit a publicity stunt, and the allegations “false, misleading and deceptive.” The blog states that “It has never been, nor will it be Monsanto policy to exercise its patent rights where trace amounts of our patented seed or traits are present in farmer’s fields as a result of inadvertent means.”  Yet there are multiple cases of harassment and legal action by Monsanto against farmers over alleged unauthorized use of its seed products. Sourcewatch claims: “Monsanto has an annual budget of $10 million and a staff of 75 devoted solely to investigating and prosecuting farmers.”

PUBPAT‘s Executive Director Dan Ravicher, noted, “It seems quite perverse that an organic farmer contaminated by transgenic seed could be accused of patent infringement, but Monsanto has made such accusations before and is notorious for having sued hundreds of farmers for patent infringement, so we had to act to protect the interests of our clients.” Transgenic (aka genetically engineered) seed contaminates and destroys organic strains of the same species. Ravicher noted, “Some say transgenic seed can coexist with organic seed, but history tells us that’s not possible, and it’s actually in Monsanto’s financial interest to eliminate organic seed so that they can have a total monopoly over our food supply.”

Plaintiff Rose Marie Burroughs of Cloverleaf Farms stated, “We must protect our world by protecting our most precious, sacred resource of seed sovereignty… We must protect the environment, farmers’ livelihood, public health and people’s right to non GMO food contamination.”

 

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Photo: konradlew via istockphoto

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195 comments

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5:43PM PDT on Oct 14, 2011

Just remember folks, these are patents. They will run out in 20 years. I wouldn't be surprised if several of those years have already ticked off by now.

12:31AM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

Monsanto or Monstersanto?

10:55PM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

Mionsanto's G.M. seed is destroying ther farming industry and farmers of all sizes.
From America to Africa this must be stopped.

9:57PM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

Awesome.
Now we just need to sue them into bankruptcy for contamination and charge them with crimes against nature and crimes against humanity and we'll be well on the way..

6:16PM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

GREAT!!!

11:38AM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

Thank goodness the organic farmers are fighting this.

10:19PM PDT on Jul 28, 2011

I consider Monsanto to be one of the most evil corporations existing in our world today, whose main objective seems to be controlling the worlds food supply. Please rememember that whoever controls the food - controls the world.
The FDA, the Supreme Court and the U.S. government are filled with former Monsanto lackeys - and vice-versa - it's like a revolving door. So while I hope that this lawsuit goes somewhere, I am much to jaded to think that it might. GooBest wishes Pubpat - you're going to need all the luck you can get going up against this immoral corporation - they have many "friends" in high places ..

5:41PM PDT on May 15, 2011

go away, Monsanto

10:57PM PDT on May 14, 2011

Hope the farmers win...

2:48PM PDT on May 14, 2011

Agree with Ann Fox.
Thanks for posting.

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