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Judge Dismisses Organic Farmers' Case Against Monsanto

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A New York federal court today dismissed a lawsuit against agribusiness giant Monsanto brought by thousands of certified organic farmers. The farmers hoped the suit would protect them against infringing on the company's crop patents in the future.

The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and several other growers and organizations do not use Monsanto seeds. But they were betting that the judge would agree that Monsanto should not be allowed to sue them if pollen from the company's patented crops happened to drift into their fields.

Instead, the judge found that plaintiffs' allegations were "unsubstantiated ... given that not one single plaintiff claims to have been so threatened." The ruling also found that the plaintiffs had "overstate[d] the magnitude of [Monsanto's] patent enforcement." Monsanto brings an average 13 patent-enforcement lawsuits per year, which, the judge said, "is hardly significant when compared to the number of farms in the United States, approximately two million."

The company, meanwhile, asserts that it doesn't exercise its patent rights when trace amounts of its patented traits inadvertently end up in farmers' fields.

Dan Ravicher, executive director of the Public Patent Foundation and lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, told The Salt that Monsanto remains a "patent bully" and that the judge's decision was "gravely disappointing." The plaintiffs have not yet decided if they will appeal.

Much of the corn, soy, canola and cotton grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. Among them, corn is the most likely to cross-pollinate with plants in nearby fields. That means that genes from genetically modified crops can drift or "trespass" into organic fields.

As Dan Charles reported last year, most organic corn in the U.S. typically contains anywhere from half a percent to 2 percent GMOs, according to companies that sell such corn to organic dairies or poultry farmers. It has been that way since genetically engineered corn and soybeans came into wide use more than a decade ago.

But organic farmers say that GMO contamination could hurt the value of their crop, and they fear lawsuits from Monsanto for possessing their GM genes without paying for them. The documentary Food Inc. portrayed the company as aggressively suing farmers who save its patented seed.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Advisory Committee on Biotechnology in the 21st Century began discussing ways to protect organic farmers from contamination.

"Beyond whatever happens with this suit, there are some very legitimate issues behind it," Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, tells The Salt. "There is already a significant burden to organic food production, and there is more coming. It raises the question: Is it possible for organic agriculture to survive in the face of GM crops?"

Monsanto sees it differently, however. In a statement on the judge's decision, executive vice president David F. Snively said, "This decision is a win for all farmers as it underscores that agricultural practices such as ag biotechnology, organic and conventional systems do and will continue to effectively coexist in the agricultural marketplace."

http://www.npr.org/b...nto?sc=fb&cc=fp

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Transalation

So called "organic farmers" are stealing the patented genetically modified products of Monsanto to increase yields and profits while still claiming to be "organic" and charging outrageous amounts to stupid people for their "organic products"

They claimed they were getting sued just because some pollen drifted over onto their crops. :rofl:

Moral...

Whenever stupid people are willing to pay much more for a "label" people will take advanatge of that any way they can, even if it measn stealing other's work.

If you want an organic apple...buy any apple and wash it. Voila!


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Aren't most of the GM crops semi sterile? Could this potentially harm future organic crops?

I'm not sure if most of them are, but Monsanto has or is working on patenting 'terminator' seeds...

With Monsanto's terminator technology, they will sell seeds to farmers to plant crops. But these seeds have been genetically-engineered so that when the crops are harvested, all new seeds from these crops are sterile (e.g., dead, unusable). This forces farmers to pay Monsanto every year for new seeds if they want to grow their crops.

In less rich countries, hundreds of millions of people rely heavily on small farms which produce foods for the region. If these farms begin to use Monsanto's terminator technology, and cannot afford to buy new genetically engineered seeds from Monsanto the following year, many of the people in the region may starve. Under normal circumstances, food could be brought in from other regions. However, many of those other regions will likely have the same problems with famine due to Monsanto's terminator technology.

  • "It's terribly dangerous," says Hope Shand, "half the world's farmers are poor and can't afford to buy seed every growing season, yet poor farmers grow 15 to 20% of the world's food and they directly feed at least 1.4 billion people - 100 million in Latin America, 300 million in Africa, and 1 billion in Asia. These farmers depend upon saved seed and their own breeding skills in adapting other varieties for use on their (often marginal) lands."

What is even more frightening is that traits from genetically-engineered crops can get passed on to other crops. Once the terminator seeds are released into a region, the trait of seed sterility could be passed to other non-genetically-engineered crops making most or all of the seeds in the region sterile.

  • Camila Montecinos, an agronomist with the Chilean organization, CET, has another concern, "We've talked to a number of crop geneticists who have studied the patent," she says. "They're telling us that it's likely that pollen from crops carrying the Terminator trait will infect the fields of farmers who either reject or can't afford the technology. Their crop won't be affected that season but when farmers reach into their bins to sow seed the following season they could discover - too late - that some of their seed is sterile. This could lead to very high yield losses. If the technology is transmitted through recessive genes, we could see several years of irregular harvests and a general - even dramatic - decline in food security for the poorest farm communities."

Because of the worldwide condemnation of terminator seeds, Monsanto appears to be verbally distancing itself from its own technology that it is in the process of acquiring. Even without the threat of this technology Monsanto is contributing significant to the destruction of health and environment around the world. But if this technology is released by Monsanto, it could spell disaster for hundreds of millions of people around the world. How anyone could invest in such a company is difficult to imagine!

http://www.ethicalin...erminator.shtml

Edited by Mister Fancypants

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Aren't most of the GM crops semi sterile? Could this potentially harm future organic crops?

The grain is inert by design, so that the crops don't propagate. Perhaps that is why the organic farmers case is baseless.

I'm not sure if most of them are, but Monsanto has or is working on patenting 'terminator' seeds...

http://www.ethicalin...erminator.shtml

Pffft! Take a college course in biology.

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Interesting article from 1999 (Monsanto has since changed its position and is considering the use of terminator seed technology):

nothing.gif

Tuesday, October 5, 1999

Monsanto said that after consultations with experts and customers, it was making a public commitment never to commercialise sterile seed technologies.

The commitment came in a letter from Monsanto chairman Robert Shapiro to the philanthropic organisation, the Rockefeller Foundation.

The letter said: "Though we do not yet own any sterile seed technology, we think it is important to respond to those concerns at this time by making clear our commitment not to commercialise gene protection systems that render seed sterile."

The technology might still be used in internal research, the company said. And the genes could help create plants in which certain characteristics can be switched on and off.

Andrew Simms of Christian Aid, a development charity, said the move was a major reverse: "Terminator technology was the lynchpin of a strategy to protect corporate royalties in developing countries.

"Up until last year, the US Department of Agriculture [who own a key patent] expected that within a short period of time you would not be able to find seeds that did not use terminator technology."

Pete Riley of Friends of the Earth said the move was an attempt by the food giant to win favour in the press. "It is only a gesture and it will cost them nothing. There is nothing to stop them introducing it at a later date."

http://news.bbc.co.u...ture/465222.stm

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The grain is inert by design, so that the crops don't propagate. Perhaps that is why the organic farmers case is baseless.

Pffft! Take a college course in biology.

It is also evidence that so called "organic farmers" are stealing GM technology to improve their profits. Good stuff that organic food.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Transalation

So called "organic farmers" are stealing the patented genetically modified products of Monsanto to increase yields and profits while still claiming to be "organic" and charging outrageous amounts to stupid people for their "organic products"

no, that's not it.

They claimed they were getting sued just because some pollen drifted over onto their crops. :rofl:

it's happened in the past. i don't blame the farmers for this suit.


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

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no, that's not it.

it's happened in the past. i don't blame the farmers for this suit.

Not one of the farmers in the lawsuit had been sued. They were suing Monsanto to forestall any possible future lawsuits. Monsanto said they didn't plan on suing for any inadvertent cross pollination.

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Not one of the farmers in the lawsuit had been sued. They were suing Monsanto to forestall any possible future lawsuits. Monsanto said they didn't plan on suing for any inadvertent cross pollination.

which is contrary to what monsanto has done in the past....

link

link

i'm sure there's more out there, i just don't feel like doing the tedious copy and paste.


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

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There are certain words that people can see or hear for the first time and even though they don't know the meaning, they just know those words must describe horrible ugly things. Words like fetid, malignant, putrefy and pestilence for example.

I had no idea who or what Monsanto was the first time I heard the word, but I remember just hearing the sound of the name gave me an eery, uneasy feeling. Still does.


QCjgyJZ.jpg

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