Farmers Fight Back Against Monsanto's Frankenseeds
The issue, in fewer words: Monsanto's GMO seeds are contaminating non-GMO crops and Monsanto (NYSE: MON) thinks it's totally OK to turn around and sue farmers whose crops are infected with Frankenseed DNA through no fault of their own.
Anyone else see why this is an issue?
via Global Research:
A landmark lawsuit filed on March 29 in US federal court seeks to invalidate Monsanto’s patents on genetically modified seeds and to prohibit the company from suing those whose crops become genetically contaminated.
The Public Patent Foundation filed suit on behalf of 270,000 people from sixty organic and sustainable businesses and trade associations, including thousands of certified-organic farmers. In Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto, et al. (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Case No. 11 CIV 2163), PUBPAT details the invalidity of any patent that poisons people and the environment, and that is not useful to society, two hallmarks of US patent law.
"As Justice Story wrote in 1817, to be patentable, an invention must not be 'injurious to the well being, good policy, or sound morals of society,'” notes the complaint in its opening paragraphs, citing Lowell v. Lewis.
The suit points to studies citing harm caused by Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, including human placental damage, lymphoma, myeloma, animal miscarriages, and other impacts on human health.
Here is the awesome part, Monsanto might actually believe the blurb on its website that claims "If there were one word to explain what Monsanto is about, it would have to be farmers. It is our purpose to help them meet the needs of a growing population." Really? Then what on Earth is this?
Several of the cases that have gone to court are enough to scare farmers into meek submission to Monsanto's demands. Homan McFarling was fined $780,000 for growing Roundup Ready soybeans without paying Monsanto's licensing fee. Tennessee farmer Kem Ralph was fined $1.7 million and sentenced to eight months in jail for a variety of offenses that began with a Monsanto lawsuit.
Monsanto must be pleased with the results of its aggressive legal campaign. So pleased, in fact, it has decided to branch out. Monsanto's latest foray into the courtroom has it suing a dairy in Maine, alleging that Oakhurst Dairy's marketing campaign that touts its milk as being free of artificial growth hormones is misleading. Monsanto further claims Oakhurst's ads and labels are deceptive and disparage Monsanto's products by implying that milk from untreated cows is better than milk from hormone-treated cows.
Monsanto is the world's only producer of artificial bovine growth hormone (BGH). This product is banned in Canada and elsewhere because of concerns about its impact on humans and the cows that are injected with it. In the U.S., where BGH is legal, some dairy farmers have captured a niche market by declaring that they do not use it on their cows. The Oakhurst Dairy label is simple enough: "Our Farmers' Pledge: No Artificial Growth Hormones." Who would have thought that a simple statement of the truth could have such dire consequences?
The battle against Monsanto has taken another interesting turn, this time with their Roundup Ready alfalfa.
Recommended supplementary reading: Wikileaks cable reveals U.S. conspired to retaliate against European nations if they resisted GMOs via Natural News