Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto to Protect against Contamination
Thursday, April 21, 2011
A coalition of organic farming interests have sued Monsanto in what they say is a preventive measure to stop the corporation from unfairly litigating them over the spread of patented seeds.
Increasingly, genetically-modified seeds produced by Monsanto are coming into contact with organic crops, contaminating the latter. To make matters worse, the biotech giant has threatened to file lawsuits against organic farmers on grounds that the inadvertent mixing of seeds constitutes patent infringement.
“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,” Dan Ravicher, executive director of the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), told Huffington Post.
Representing family farms, seed businesses and organic growers associations that number 270,000 members, PUBPAT is the plaintiff in the lawsuit filed against Monsanto.
Monsanto, for its part, issued a statement that said, “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.”
Organic Farmers Unite Against Monsanto in Battle for Future of Food (by David Hill, Singularity Hub)
Organic Farm Groups Sue Monsanto (by Alison Rose Levy, Huffington Post)
Vermont, Massachusetts Groups Join 'Sue Monsanto' Crowd (American Agriculturalist)
Organic Growers v. Monsanto (U.S. District Court Southern District of New York) (pdf)
Agricultural Giant Battles Small Farmers (CBS Evening News)
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