Farmers and Seed Producers Launch Preemptive Strike against Monsanto
From Cornucopia: http://www.cornucopia.org/2011/03/farmers-and-seed-producers-lunch-preemptive-strike-against-monsanto/
March 30th, 2011
Lawsuit Filed To Protect Themselves from Unfair Patent Enforcement on Genetically Modified Seed
Action Would Prohibit Biotechnology Giant from Suing Organic Farmers and Seed Growers If Innocently Contaminated by Roundup Ready Genes
NEW York: On behalf of 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations, the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed suit today against Monsanto Company challenging the chemical giant’s patents on genetically modified seed. The organic plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should their crops ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed.
Monsanto has sued farmers in the United States and Canada, in the past, when their patented genetic material has inadvertently contaminated their crops.
A copy of the lawsuit can be found at:
The case, Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto, was filed in federal district court in Manhattan and assigned to Judge Naomi Buchwald. Plaintiffs in the suit represent a broad array of family farmers, small businesses and organizations from within the organic agriculture community who are increasingly threatened by genetically modified seed contamination despite using their best efforts to avoid it. The plaintiff organizations have over 270,000 members, including thousands of certified organic family farmers.
“This case asks whether Monsanto has the right to sue organic farmers for patent infringement if Monsanto’s transgenic seed or pollen should land on their property,” said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT’s Executive Director. “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.”
Once released into the environment, genetically modified seed can contaminate and destroy organic seed for the same crop. For example, soon after Monsanto introduced genetically modified seed for canola, organic canola became virtually impossible to grow as a result of contamination.
Continue reading at: http://www.cornucopia.org/2011/03/farmers-and-seed-producers-lunch-preemptive-strike-against-monsanto/
April 6, 2011 at 4:04 am
I would suggest that the farmers open up two other fronts on this issue.
Small independant farming has been the backbone of communities for thousands of years. Monsanto does not have the right to wipe out such a significant part of our culture, purely for the reason to establish a monoploy.
Strangely the governmental, court and police support that Monsanto recieves to establish its monoply, which it is pursuing in a manner reminiscient to how the state farming monopolies were established under Lenin in the former Soviet Union, is more or less a full scale assault on the ability of the market to have open competion. We used to call that communism, which does make me wonder why Monsanto has such strong support among the Tea Baggers, Billionaires, Republican Party, Religious right wing, legal profession and other elements of the right wing in the USA.
Firstly the farmers need to organise and tackle Monsanto for contaminating their crops.
The farmers need to sue Monsanto for deliberately contaminating their crops with foreign materials, so as to remove competition in the market place.
Farmers need to sue Monsanto to susure that Monsanto pays to ensure all crops grown by Monsanto seeds are grown in an enclosed enviroment, so as to stop Monsanto deliberately contaminating adjacents farmers lands. All costs should be borne by Monsanto.
They need to launch legal action in every state as well as putting together a class action for the supreme court.
Secondly the farmers need to tackle the authorities for siding with monsanto when it has clearly vandalised the crops of indepentant farmers.
The farmers also need to demand in writing why local police are not arresting and jailing Monsanto managers for vandalising crops that are in competition with them, by allowing Monsanto seeds to accidentally grow in adjacent farms.
The farmers need to demand for an explanation in writing why police internal affairs have decided to ignore obvious criminal activity by Monsanto.
Also farmers need to call for a full and open inquiry into internal affairs investigations by the police, as it is blatantly obvioius they are refusing to do there job in this case.
April 6, 2011 at 9:27 am
In this country we need to give more support to the genuine small farmer and eliminate subsidies for the corporate farm industry. We should also end the factory farming of animals, require proper treatment of animal waste and mandate humane treatment of animals raised for food. End the use of things like Bovine Growth Hormones.
April 6, 2011 at 10:50 am
I agree things need to change.
The present factory practices do need to change.
Change is happening outside the US fast, leaving the US far behind as it looks like being left behind in lots of other areas, due to the ideology of the neo-liberals.
The neo-liberal ideology-theology, has cost the US its lead in child mortality, infrastructure investment, railways, public health, farming, animal wellfare, etc. Evntually something is going to give and when it does, the outcome will most likely be what we all least expect.
We can not get completely rid of factory farming, but we can change it considerably for the better.
At present factory practices are basically based on short term greed and nothing else. All the decisions are being made by morons who have never even seen a farm, who sit in a tower of glass and steel, snorting their cocaine, then going home and beating up there stepford wives.
In a farm all the decisions need to be made on the ground by the actual farmer.
Farming is an art. It is not exact in any way. Accountancy can help in a farm to identify some problems, but it can neither run or maintain a farm. Accountancy is a tool that a farmer can use to diagnose or predict a possible problem, nothing else.
I will give you an idea of how we can have positive change.
The World Health Organisation recommended banning putting antibiotics into animals in 2000.
In Denmark farmers instigated a voluntary antibiotic ban. That cut antibiotic resistance.
In Singapore they have started to use city farming.
In Shanghai they are also starting to use city farming and rooftop farming.
There is to much political pressure in the US to change the system there, but practical reality and long term planning by politicians in Singapore and China is starting to bring online hydroponics and aeroponics with a bare minimum of anything artifical, right into their city centers. That also cuts down on transport costs, which reduces hydrocarbon burning for transport. That in turn reduces imports which in turn improves the countries balance of payments.
I have seen those ideas filtering back to Ireland from people working in China. I have taken those ideas, am improving them and am working on some ideas of my own.