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Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:36 PM

Seed Saving: Monsanto’s Achilles’ Heel

The biotech giant Monsanto is notoriously litigious about its patent rights, but an upcoming Supreme Court case could stop the company in its tracks. For years, Monsanto has prohibited its customers from saving second generation seeds from its GM crops like Roundup Ready, while also requiring that farmers sign an agreement saying they won’t do seed saving. At the same time, the Monsanto Corporation has sued dozens of farmers for terms of use and patent violations—even when the crops had been dispersed onto farmers’ fields by the wind.

But grain elevators are a different story, says Tom Laskawy in Grist (October 10, 2012). Traditionally, farmers save seeds from one season’s crop and sell them in a local exchange. The seeds are mixed in grain elevators and sold as generic (and cheaper) alternatives to more reliable brand-name types, like Roundup Ready. Despite its strictness in other areas, Monsanto’s terms of use don’t challenge the practice, which is exactly what Indiana soybean farmer Vernon Bowman was counting on.

Having bought Roundup Ready soybeans from Monsanto—and agreed to the company’s exacting terms of use—Bowman would then sell the second generation seeds to a grain elevator. But for the next season, Bowman simply bought generics from the local exchange, sprayed them with Roundup, and watched what happened. Having identified the Monsanto varieties (the ones that didn’t die), Bowman saved those for the following year, while also saving a good deal of money.

Of course, it didn’t take long for Monsanto to sue Bowman, and for five years, the two parties have been fighting each other in federal courts. Now the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, with a ruling expected in early 2013. Because Bowman’s terms of use agreement only applied to the first round of seeds he bought from the company, Monsanto’s only recourse is patent law. But the implication, Laskawy says, is that Monsanto would have exclusive rights to its GM creations in perpetuity, even later generations that are bought and sold by third parties. And because the Supreme Court has already said that DNA is legally patentable, this ruling could be a big deal. “Imagine owing a drug company licensing fees because you passed genetic material from some advanced gene therapy drug onto your child, for instance,” writes Laskawy.

Read more: http://www.utne.com/environment/seed-saving-zm0z13jfzros.aspx#ixzz2GH6iSn9z

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Reply Seed Saving: Monsanto’s Achilles’ Heel (Original post)
BridgeTheGap Dec 2012 OP
geardaddy Dec 2012 #1
lunasun Dec 2012 #3
geardaddy Dec 2012 #4
lunasun Dec 2012 #5
geardaddy Dec 2012 #6
lunasun Dec 2012 #7
lunasun Dec 2012 #2
jtuck004 Dec 2012 #8
lunasun Dec 2012 #9
getthefacts4a Dec 2012 #10
getthefacts4a Dec 2012 #11
BridgeTheGap Dec 2012 #12

Response to BridgeTheGap (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:05 PM

1. Well, Clarence Thomas used to work for Monsatan.

We know how he'll vote.

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:16 PM

3. Kagan has connection also

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Response to lunasun (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:22 PM

4. Really?

Ugh.

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:11 PM

5. really

2010
While Elena Kagan has no experience on the bench and has provided the public with little to no information about where she stands on some of the most important issues of the day, the fact that she came to bat for Monsanto two months ago, at a time when the company is reeling from negative press, may shed some light on how she could rule in future GE cases if she’s confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice....................


http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2010/05/elena-kagan-toward-a-pro-gm-supreme-court/56587/
http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/05/mark-of-the-beast-obama%E2%80%99s-latest-monsanto-pick-elena-kagan/
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/08/1141593/-Supreme-Court-to-review-Monsanto-Case#

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Response to lunasun (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:39 PM

6. Thanks for the info.

I hate Monsatan.

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:47 PM

7. oh you are not alone

http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/
Millions Against Monsanto
A Project of Organic Consumers Association

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Response to BridgeTheGap (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:09 PM

2. Supreme court needs to hear this last statement also, but how will it rule on any of these issues?

"Imagine owing a drug company licensing fees because you passed genetic material from some advanced gene therapy drug onto your child,"
http://www.businessinsider.com/biggest-supreme-court-cases-of-2013-2012-12

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Response to lunasun (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:50 PM

8. Could they repossess it? Be later responsible for behaviors because that treatment

Last edited Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:23 PM - Edit history (1)

caused a reaction with an unforeseen future therapy? Interfere with reproductive rights?

Corporations keep proving that it is they, not the Republicans (whom they purchase as necessary, like any politician) who are the biggest threat out there...

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:19 PM

9. Often are given complete immunity from any legal liability if someone is harmed


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Response to BridgeTheGap (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:11 AM

10. simple

This is simple --- technology is developed and people apply for patents and most dont have issued a patent some patent applications turn into issued patents>Patents are legitimate ways to encourage people to invest in developing new technologies and then giving them limited protection for set period of time. GM traits and certain bred inbreds and varieties can be covered by patents. when the farmers buy the seed they decide to buy and sign a legal contract to not reuse the seed unless they pay a fee. 99% or ore of farmers do this and stick to the agreement a small percentage don't. When people pay taxes its unfair that some don't. The taxes pay for things ---patent license fees pay for continued investments. If farmers dont want the GM trait they dont buy. There is noone who has been sued by Monsanto who had accidental GM seed ! There are only a few farmers as a % who get sued and they lose every time because they stole the trait and kept spraying their field with the herbicide that made sure their seed was 100% GM. For 100 years farmers growing corn have not planted back because the hybrid seed produces seed that doesnt do well the net year. Even farmers buying soybeans that could be technically planted back often buy fresh seed because it is so much better than the seed they make its cost effective to pay for seed again.

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Response to BridgeTheGap (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:25 AM

11. no damage

there is liability if someone is harmed that is a false statement and in 16 years no one has been harmed by GM traits. You will see 95% of the stuff on the internet about GM crops is wrong. you will see that indian farmers are committing suicide due to GM cotton -NOT- an Indian government study shows the frequency of suicides has actually gone down due to GM crops. Indian cotton production has gone up since Gm Bt cotton was introduced

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Response to getthefacts4a (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:40 PM

12. I should still have the choice, as a consumer, to be aware of what I'm

buying and whether or not I want to consume it.

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