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Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:01 PM

Monsanto sued small famers to protect seed patents, report says [View all]

Source: Guardian

Monsanto sued small famers to protect seed patents, report says

Agricultural giant has won more than $23m from its targets, but one case is being heard at Supreme Court this month

Paul Harris in New York
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 12 February 2013 15.11 EST

The agricultural giant Monsanto has sued hundreds of small farmers in the United States in recent years in attempts to protect its patent rights on genetically engineered seeds that it produces and sells, a new report said on Tuesday.

The study, produced jointly by the Center for Food Safety and the Save Our Seeds campaigning groups, has outlined what it says is a concerted effort by the multinational to dominate the seeds industry in the US and prevent farmers from replanting crops they have produced from Monsanto seeds.

In its report, called Seed Giants vs US Farmers, the CFS said it had tracked numerous law suits that Monsanto had brought against farmers and found some 142 patent infringement suits against 410 farmers and 56 small businesses in more than 27 states. In total the firm has won more than $23m from its targets, the report said.

However, one of those suits, against Indiana soybean farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman, is a potentially landmark patent case that could have wide implications for genetic engineering and who controls patents on living organisms. The CFS and SOS are both supporting Bowman in the case, which will be heard in the Supreme Court later this month.


Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/12/monsanto-sues-farmers-seed-patents

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