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View Full Version : FTCLDF in Suit over Monsanto GMO Seed



Islander
06-01-11, 09:53 AM
from Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms and protecting
consumer access to raw milk and nutrient dense foods.

Falls Church, Virginia (April 13, 2011) - On behalf of 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations, the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed suit on March 29 against Monsanto Company to challenge the chemical giant's patents on genetically modified seed. The organic plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified seed, something Monsanto has done to others in the past. The action seeks a ruling that would prohibit Monsanto from suing organic farmers and seed growers if contaminated by Roundup Ready seed.

The case, Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto (http://www.pubpat.org/assets/files/seed/OSGATA-v-Monsanto-Complaint.pdf), was filed in federal district court in Manhattan and assigned to Judge Naomi Buchwald. Plaintiffs in the suit represent a broad array of family farmers, small businesses and organizations from within the organic agriculture community who are increasingly threatened by genetically modified seed contamination despite using their best efforts to avoid it. The plaintiff organizations have over 270,000 members, including thousands of certified organic family farmers. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) is a plaintiff in the suit.

"This case asks whether Monsanto has the right to sue organic farmers for patent infringement if Monsanto's transgenic seed should land on their property," said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT's Executive Director and Lecturer of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. "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."

Once released into the environment, genetically modified seed contaminates and destroys organic seed for the same crop. For example, soon after Monsanto introduced genetically modified seed for canola, organic canola became virtually extinct as a result of contamination. Organic corn, soybeans, cotton, sugar beets and alfalfa now face the same fate, as Monsanto has released genetically modified seed for each of those crops, too. Monsanto is developing genetically modified seed for many other crops, thus putting the future of all food, and indeed all agriculture, at stake.

In the case, PUBPAT is asking Judge Buchwald to declare that if organic farmers are ever contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified seed, they need not fear also being accused of patent infringement. One reason justifying this result is that Monsanto's patents on genetically modified seed are invalid because they don't meet the "usefulness" requirement of patent law, according to PUBPAT's Ravicher, plaintiffs' lead attorney in the case. Evidence cited by PUBPAT in its opening filing today proves that genetically modified seed has negative economic and health effects, while the promised benefits of genetically modified seed - increased production and decreased herbicide use - are false.

"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," said Ravicher. "Monsanto is the same chemical company that previously brought us Agent Orange, DDT, PCB's and other toxins, which they said were safe, but we know are not. Now Monsanto says transgenic seed is safe, but evidence clearly shows it is not."

"Transgenic seed should not be on the market. They are a threat to the future of farming and consumer freedom of choice," asserted Pete Kennedy, Esq., President of FTCLDF. "Monsanto should not be suing farms whose land the company's products contaminate; Monsanto should be paying them damages."

Source & list of plaintiffs, plus other links: http://farmtoconsumer.org/press/pr-ftcldf-suit-monsanto-gmo-seed.htm

Katee
06-01-11, 12:28 PM
1984. White is black and black is white. Good is bad and bad is good.

I fail to understand how Monsanto can sue farmers for GM when it was THEIR own product that contanimated the fields. How is it the farmers, particularly the organic farmers, are not suing Monsanto for contanimating their product and ruining their good product?

I will never understand.

Islander
06-01-11, 02:41 PM
Katee, that's because you don't have a team of a dozen lawyers at your beck and call. It's the same pattern of thinking as, What's OUR oil doing under Iraq's sand?