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Farmers Sue Monsanto Over Seed Contamination

3/30/2011 1:02:21 PM

Tags: Monsanto, GMOs, genetically modified seeds, genetically modified crops, Monsanto lawsuit, Public Patent Foundation, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailOn behalf of more than 50 agricultural associations, farmers and farms, the Public Patent Foundation (PubPat) has filed a lawsuit seeking to prohibit Monstanto from suing farmers or dealers whose seeds become contaminated by the global giant’s genetically modified seeds.

Since January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has cleared the way for genetically modified alfalfa, sugar beets and a new type of biotech corn for ethanol. The lawsuit, Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto, was filed in federal district court in Manhattan by organic family farmers, small businesses and organizations who are concerned that Monsanto may sue them for patent infringement if their seeds are contaminated.

Monsanto has won several lawsuits against farmers that it claimed used their seeds without paying royalties, but in several cases the farmers claim their crops were contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically altered crops without their knowledge. Monsanto’s "Roundup Ready" soybeans, corn and cotton are ubiquitous in the United States. When released into the environment, they can contaminate and destroy organic crops.

"This case asks whether Monsanto has the right to sue organic farmers for patent infringement if Monsanto's genetically modified seed should land on their property," said PubPat executive director Dan Ravicher. “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 for patent infringement, so we had to act to protect the interests of our clients.”

"These efforts seek to reduce private and public investment in the development of new higher-yielding seed technologies,” Monsanto said in a statement. “While we respect the views of organic farmers as it relates to the products they choose to grow, we don't believe that American agriculture faces an all-or-nothing approach."

PubPat states in the lawsuit that genetically modified seeds have negative economic and health effects. “Some say transgenic seed can coexist with organic seed, but history tells us that's not possible, and it's actually in Monsanto's financial interest to eliminate organic seed so that they can have a total monopoly over our food supply,” said Ravicher. “Monsanto is the same chemical company that previously brought us Agent Orange, DDT, PCB's and other toxins, which they said were safe, but we know are not. Now Monsanto says transgenic seed is safe, but evidence clearly shows it is not.”

"Today is Independence Day for America,” said Jim Gerritsen, a Maine farmer and president of lead plaintiff Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association. “Today we are seeking protection from the Court and putting Monsanto on notice. Monsanto's threats and abuse of family farmers stops here. Monsanto's genetic contamination of organic seed and organic crops ends now. Americans have the right to choice in the marketplace—to decide what kind of food they will feed their families—and we are taking this action on their behalf to protect that right to choose. Organic farmers have the right to raise our organic crops for our families and our customers on our farms without the threat of invasion by Monsanto's genetic contamination and without harassment by a reckless polluter. Beginning today, America asserts her right to justice and pure food."

See the full complaint at

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7/24/2015 9:00:57 AM
If I raised pure bred dogs, would it make ANY sense for you to sue me because your mixed breed mongrel (that you have proclaimed as a "wonder dog") came onto MY property and bred my females? This is typical of the twisted thinking that has become the norm. "might is right" is usually WRONG!

Mary Flavan
5/16/2011 8:22:41 PM
Please go further and sue Monsanto for contaminating organic and non-organic conventional crops--they should be held accountable for the spread of their products! A class action suit requiring them to fund an organic seed farm to maintain our varieties would be a definite benefit to our world. (You never get what you don't think to ask for...)

5/14/2011 11:20:16 AM
That's right Amren keep blameing it or giving credit to God's Will (not the creativiness of the collective consciousness of people with consciousness) will kick this ball down field til we are literally drowning in Trans-species Raped life. Belief will set you free, hows that working for us? see my prvious post

5/12/2011 9:48:48 AM
@craiginoxford, "Why is it that there are those amongst us who have one thought and one though only, To make as much money as possible while doing the most possible damage to the land and thier fellow humans, not to mention themselves and their own families for generations to come?" The answer to your question, craig, is, "Because evil exists in this world." Sure, these guys don't think they're evil. They think they're helping mankind. But that's the problem with evil. It perverts one's thinking. Remember the Eugenics Society of th 20' and 30's. They thought they were helping mankind by destroying those that were "detrimental to the human race". That's where Hitler got his idea to wipe out the Jews. Monsanto is evil. Those that work for Monsanto are helping that evil to flourish. Praise God that this lawsuit has happened.

5/12/2011 1:22:08 AM
I would like to see these lawsuits carried even further, requiring Monsanto to pay damages to fully restore and rid the damaged farmers' fields from the genetically modified seed and reimburse fully for the lost crops. I also agree with the other poster who stated life should not be patentable. It's absurd. It's only because of our incredibly corrupt and characterless politicians and judges here in the U.S., that this nonsense is even possible, as it goes against nature and common sense. I think Mexico has had a ban on the use of GMO seed since 2005 to protect their extensive variations of heritage corn. Bravo Mexico! We've already seen the results of GMO crops. Just take a look at North Dakota and how GMO canola has become an invasive species there, blanketing most of the state. Monsanto is a disease.

J C Cope
5/11/2011 8:29:12 PM
I hope you guys win. It's time the big corporate farm company learn that just because they say it's good for us or right for us is not necessarily so. and I think you should be able to sue them for contaminating your crops.

5/11/2011 6:59:09 PM
I am so thankful to see this suit, rather than hear about Monsanto harassing and bullying yet another farmer.

5/11/2011 1:36:14 PM
This all goes to the Story our Dominionist culture has been telling us since the dawn of farming. This Story supports the Prime Directive of our culture which is to: grow more food to grow more people to sell more stuff to enslave more souls at all costs. This rises directly from that Dominion Story and deeding of land to Cain and Abel, what they did on that land and what Cain did to Abel. We turned the Garden into the Farm of Eden. We can choose to return to that Garden as all other living things have never left and are provided for with abundance when man does not interfere. A realization (apocalypse) that there is no such thing as sin only consequences can help us make this choice.

Robin Shepherd
5/11/2011 1:26:15 PM
I for one do not want seeds from a company that also made chemicals used in wars. Good luck to all involved in the law suit, I hope Monsanto gets his dues.

5/11/2011 12:41:53 PM
I am so grateful for all those involved in this suit. Thank you for looking out for our best interests and caring about the greater good. Fight the good fight.

William Richard Kempin
5/11/2011 12:30:51 PM
I'd like to see this whole pattenting life thing reversed. no company or corporation shoule own rights to food. its perverse. cleaning seeds is as old as the thought process of planting seeds. Monsanto needs to be shut down.

5/11/2011 11:40:55 AM
If this isn’t a great challenge to logic, what is? Let me try and make sense out of this for a moment. You shoot someone in the leg, than you sue the victim for getting in front of the bullet and for retaining your designer bullet in his flesh. This opens new horizons to human thinking, common sense and proper justice. Good luck to us all.

5/11/2011 11:01:04 AM
There are Heirloom seeds in the seed bank but Monsanto is also involved with the Seed Bank so there are GMO seeds there too. Monsanto had an internal memo made public a really long time ago (25 years?) that stated their strategy to control ALL food production ON EARTH. Americans MUST DEMAND LABELING or there is no hope in maintaining Organic Heirloom plants because eventually the GMO contamination will be so pervasive that nothing will produce fertile seed. If they are not stopped mankind and most life is doomed.

5/11/2011 10:21:42 AM
Very nice... Why is it that there are those amongst us who have one thought and one though only, To make as much money as possible while doing the most possible damage to the land and thier fellow humans, not to mention themselves and their own families for generations to come? If the scientists at Monsanto are so smart? why cant they see and understand what they are doing? And how can ANYONE think it is ok to force organic farmers, the back bone of our country, out of business thus controlling the whole food market? Talk about a dangerous situation, and in 50 years, if you dont give the big boys at Monsanto your first food for you!!! Do we really want to make Monsanto ruler and king over us all? Rember, tyrants only help themselves...

5/11/2011 10:15:16 AM
This whole Montsanto lawsuit thing is backwards. Time and time again Heirloom seed has been mankinds savior. Hybrid and otherwise modified seed in the greater scheme of things is just a flash in the pan. Do you think that these so called doomsday seed banks are storing genetically modified seed by Montsanto? I think not! Those who use heirloom seed and save same, should have a class action suit suing Montsanto for poluting their seed and making it worthless!

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