Organic Trade Groups and Farmers Sue Monsanto

Enough is enough said a group of 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations on whose behalf the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed a suit this past Tuesday against Monsanto Company.  Unlike previous challenges to the genetically modified regime, which were aimed at forcing government agencies to comply with federal laws, this lawsuit strikes at the heart of Monsanto’s stronghold: patents.  The lawsuit effectively takes on Monsanto’s patents and asks a Federal court to invalidate them.  Furthermore, plaintiffs ask the Court to declare that Monsanto cannot sue organic farmers should the company’s transgenic seed land on their property.

Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT’s Executive Director and Lecturer of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York aptly pointed out:

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.

In demonstrating why Monsanto’s patents should be held invalid, the complaint coherently lays out many, if not most, of the concerns that consumers, advocates and organic trade groups and businesses have regarding GMOs.

And there are plenty of them.

Organic and non-transgenic farmers do not want them because transgenic seed contaminates and eventually overcomes organic seed which lowers the price of crop and could cause certified organic farmers to lose their USDA NOP Organic Certification. Furthermore, domestically and internationally, transgenic contamination can result in shipping and import bans.

Farmers are also concerned about being investigated and/or sued by Monsanto for contamination of their product with the Big M’s transgenic seeds and opportunities for cross contamination abound.

Non­transgenic crops are vulnerable to contamination by transgenic seed at almost every step of the production process: before seed is purchased; through seed drift or scatter; through cross-­pollination; through commingling via tainted equipment during harvest or post harvest activities; during processing; during transportation; and during storage. (Compliant, ¶88).

Furthermore, consumers are wary of GMOs, and at a minimum want GMOs labeled, because of the many adverse health concerns associated with GMOs.  For example, the glyphosate resistance conferred by Monsanto’s GM seeds has increased the presence of the herbicide in the environment.  Glyphosate has been associated with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, multiple mylenoma, DNA damage or immune suppression.  Furthermore, some studies, “conclude that endocrine and toxic effects of Roundup, not just glyphosate, can be observed in mammals.”  There are also unresolved questions as to whether GMOs are safe to eat because, despite all the noise about GMOs being approved by government agencies, independent studies verifying GMOs safety have yet to be performed.

The complaint also cites Prof. Emeritus Don M. Huber’s study which suggested that GMOs contain an organism that could cause miscarriages in farm animals.  Earlier this year, prior to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s approval of GE alfalfa, Huber wrote a letter asking the Ag. Secretary to delay the approval until further research.  Huber’s letter urged, “I believe the threat we are facing from this pathogen is unique and of a high-risk status. In layman’s terms, it should be treated as an emergency.”

USDA approved GE alfalfa without any restrictions.

Monsanto’s reaction, predictably, is to deny the validity of the lawsuit.  The company’s press release found the allegations to be “false, misleading and deceptive”.  The company’s own credibility, however, is non-existent because it denies and blocks any access to information that would allow independent scientists to test the company products and claims.  “As a result of restricted access, no   truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions regarding the technology, its performance, its management implications, IRM, and its interactions with insect biology.” (Complaint ¶98, citation omitted).  For all we know, everything claimed to be safe about GMOs could in fact be false, misleading and deceptive.

What cannot be denied, however, is that many of the promises championed by the likes of Monsanto failed to deliver.  Increase in yield? NO.  Less pesticide use? NO.  In fact, what growers have witnessed is an epidemic of superweeds as a result of unrestricted and unregulated use of glyphosate.

Rose Marie Burroughs of plaintiff California Cloverleaf Farms, commenting on the lawsuit, said:

The devastation caused by GMO contamination is an ecological catastrophe to our world equal to the fall out of nuclear radiation.  Nature, farming and health are all being affected by GMO contamination.  We must protect our world by protecting our most precious, sacred resource of seed sovereignty.

  • http://www.monsanto.no/ Tore B. Krudtaa
  • Gayle Gardener

    My positive thoughts and encouragement to The groups taking on the evil Monstersanto.

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  • http://www.natural-health-home-remedies.com Toni Reita ND

    Food Wars

    In 2008, 180 countries declared that their citizens have a fundamental right to food. Only one country voted against this rudimentary right. Can you guess which country that was?

    How can the proclaimed land of the free and home of the brave justify such a mean spirited decision? And is it in the best interests of their citizens or in the best interests of someone else?

    Instead the United States made it’s intentions perfectly clear and voted against the right to food for it’s citizens. There is no right to food in the USA, nor is there any right to food legislation pending. Pretty simple isn’t it?

    I’m wondering if the USA’s refusal to participate in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provoked the growing grassroots right to food movement and the real food revolution? Is the war on food just beginning to heat up?

    If we want any choice in our foods, we must reject false foods.

    Toni
    http://www.natural-health-home-remedies.com/gmo.html

  • mothman777

    Well put! It would be a far better thing for all the world, plants and animals included, if these obsessively greedy people with their evil agenda for 100% domination of the world seed market with their lethal GMO inventions simply closed their business down and invested all their earnings in another business, like one of the alternatives to nuclear energy. This would actually do some good, and they would still be filthy rich. But will they do this? No! Because money is not the real issue here; world domination by the chosen people is, and to sicken and kill the non-chosen people is a sacred remit in the Talmud for these sickos, they are the angel of death coming for us all. “Even the best of the gentiles should all be killed” from the Talmud (viz Talmud Unmasked parts one and two). Monsanto is a Jewish owned company.

  • velva

    Monsatan is evil.

  • Furious

    PUBPAT get’s their funding through Rockefeller & Soros foundations. Do some research and you’ll conclude that this is a sad stage act that will go nowhere.

  • Enrique J. Morales

    Perhaps the Vatican should sue Monsanto for using God’s original creations, modifying them and then calling them their own by using patents.

  • MikeS

    This is a great idea, and about time, I hope Congress doesn’t sell out the US (again).

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  • jacquie

    GM crops should b e outlawed. They are hurting people, animals and the planet at large. Man should not toy with the web of life.

    What Monsanto has done is illegal and criminal.

    please everyone join together to stop the destruction of earth and her beings by big corps

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  • san

    The real fight should be on the patenting of the building blocks of life. It’s ridiculous and that decision should not be accepted. I am glad to see people fighting them, but really they have no right to say they own the rights to a life form in the first place.