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Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:31 PM

 

Family Farmers Mobilize in Ongoing Battle Against Monsanto

Family Farmers Mobilize in Ongoing Battle Against Monsanto

Group heads to federal appeals court to be free from "legal threats and intimidation" from genetically modified giant
- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

A group of family farmers is headed to a federal appeals court on Thursday in their ongoing battle against genetically modified seed giant Monsanto.

The group's suit, first filed by lead plaintiff Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) in March 2011, argues (.pdf) that farmers who want nothing to do with genetically modified (transgenic) seed could have their crops unwillingly contaminated by it and "could quite perversely also be accused of patent infringement by the company responsible for the transgenic seed that contaminates them."

The was dismissed in February 2012 by Federal Judge Naomi Buchwald, but attorney Dan Ravicher of the not-for-profit Public Patent Foundation said, "The District Court erred when it denied the organic seed plaintiffs the right to seek protection from Monsanto's patents."

...

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/01/08-11

8 replies, 796 views

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Reply Family Farmers Mobilize in Ongoing Battle Against Monsanto (Original post)
JReed Jan 2013 OP
Kurovski Jan 2013 #1
love_katz Jan 2013 #2
Luminous Animal Jan 2013 #3
awoke_in_2003 Jan 2013 #4
merrily Jan 2013 #5
DallasNE Jan 2013 #6
JReed Jan 2013 #7
riderinthestorm Jan 2013 #8

Response to JReed (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:52 PM

1. K&R. (nt)

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Response to JReed (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:58 PM

2. K&R...

and hopefully kicking Montsanto's arse.

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Response to JReed (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:02 AM

3. I am glad they are moving forward. I donated to their first attempt...

time to donate to their second.

http://www.osgata.org/support-osgata/

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Response to JReed (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:30 AM

4. Last week, someone posted...

that Monsanto wasn't evil because they wanted to help research the problem with disappearing bee populations:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2136313

I said there was probably an ulterior motive. Of course there is- if the bees cross pollinate the fields of people who didn't buy their seed they will sue them.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:27 AM

5. The inability to keep any crops organic once engineered crops enter the ecosytem was

raised in the Supreme Court by organic farmers. No one seemed to care, including Obama's then solicitor general, Elena Kagan.

Yeah, yeah, I know. She was "only" defending the power of the FDA (to ignore the law as to the requirement of an EPA study before the FDA can rule). Neither she nor the Obama administration was taking any position whatever in support of Monsanto.


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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:37 AM

6. A Form Of Corruption

The patent laws were written to protect the intellectual rights of firms that develop unique new products and allow for damages to be collected when someone delibertly clones the product and sells it for profit, such as occurs in places like China. But here there is no attampt to reproduce the protected product so it is hard to understand how patent law can be applied in the manner that corrupt Judges are ruling. Here a farmer buys the seed from Monsanto and plants that seed, which is the sole purpose for the seed. When the crop matures the pollen is carried by the wind over the fence to the neighbors crop. Monsanto then sues the unsuspecting neighbor for the cross pollination that occurs as an act of nature. Never mind that the pollen from the farmers Montsanto seed is only a very small proportion of the pollen in the neighbors field. Plus, the seed produced by the pollen contamination is not the same as the seed Monsanto sells. So where is the patent infringment? I just don't actually see it.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:35 AM

7. Monsanto's '435 patent

 

Monsanto's '435 patent: Now you see it, now you don't

by Robert Schubert
CropChoice editor

Patents are the cornerstone of the biotech revolution. Without them, there would be no profit or control. For years Monsanto, the St. Louis-based chemical and biotechnology corporation, has used the patents on its genetically engineered seed varieties as the legal basis for persecuting farmers.

But when Mississippi farmer Mitchell Scruggs recently questioned the validity of what is perhaps one of Monsanto's most valued patents in a lawsuit the company initiated, the presiding judge allowed it to remove the patent from the case. Monsanto wouldn't return calls or e-mails about this matter.

The '435 patent (No. 5,633,435) covers a gene that Monsanto engineered into canola, corn, cotton and soybeans. Armed with the gene, the crop plants are RoundUp Ready; they resist the glyphosate herbicide that Monsanto makes and markets as RoundUp. The technology allows farmers to spray RoundUp to kill weeds without harming the RoundUp Ready crops.

<snip>

"Monsanto has been hammering farmers with this RoundUp Ready patent since 1998," Robertson said. "We’ve seen some 20 suits Monsanto has filed, citing the 435 patent as Count One. For at least five years, Monsanto has used the 435 patent to force farmers into costly settlements, preliminary injunctions and a few big damage awards, plus Monsanto’s attorney’s fees...The practice was particularly pernicious because of a doctrine holding that a patent upheld in one case is evidence of its validity in the next. For example, in January 2001 in the Scruggs case, Monsanto presented the 435 patent in Count One. Its expert told the Court how wonderful it was. Scruggs had no patent lawyer and no expert and got killed with a preliminary injunction. Three months later, Monsanto got a preliminary injunction hearing in April 2001 in St. Louis against Homan McFarling http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2540 >. Monsanto presented the 435 patent again, just like in Scruggs, but added 'Judge, this patent has been upheld in Scruggs case, and you should consider that as evidence of its validity here' and on and on. When a farmer finally has the wherewithal to stand up and fight, Monsanto moves heaven and earth to get its important ‘435 patent out of the line of fire."

http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry2f5b.html?recid=2634

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Response to JReed (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:43 AM

8. Whoever wrote this has a droll sense of humour! "could quite perversely also be accused

of patent infringement by the company responsible for the transgenic seed that contaminates them."

Monsanto HAS sued more than a few small family farmers for exactly that - having contaminated crops from Big Ag farms that have been cross pollinated into their own organic fields. Its been a long simmering (and expensive) battle for a couple of decades now in the small farming community. Organizations like Seed Savers Exchange have gone to great lengths to try and preserve original seeds and have been one of the leaders in preservation (without Monsanto contamination!)

We don't want their seeds but since the acreage planted with them is so, so much more than ours, its a losing battle. Its almost inevitable in some areas of the country where corn/soy operations own millions of acres. Tiny organic plots don't stand a chance of staying pure in the face of such acreage. Then Monsanto comes in and sues USas though we're somehow poaching Monsanto's product. Its scary crazy.

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