Court of Appeals Sides with Monsanto over Organic Farmers
There have been numerous cases where Monsanto’s GM seeds end up drifting into organic fields. You would think that the organic farmer, if any party, could take some action, but Monsanto is actually the one that would sue and (probably) win. In an effort to protect themselves, U.S. organic farmers tried to create some legal shield from being sued in such a case, but an appeals court sided with Monsanto. Surprise surprise.
The Court determined that a quick paragraph on Monsanto’s website which said the company won’t sue organic farmers was enough. They decided, in other words, that we should simply take Monsanto’s word for it.
“Monsanto’s binding representations remove any risk of suit against the appellants as users or sellers of trace amounts (less than one percent) of modified seed,” the court stated in its ruling.
Monsanto officials applauded the ruling.
“The assertion that Monsanto would pursue patent infringement against farmers that have no interest in using the company’s patented seed technology was hypothetical from the outset,” the company said in a statement issued Monday.
Never mind the fact that Monsanto’s word is highly suspect. This is the company that says genetically modified foods are the answer to world hunger and who denies claims that they are hazardous. Of course we know that GMOs are not the solution to world, hunger, and multiple studies have shown these creations to be dangerous to both humans and the environment. Oh, and this is the same company that has already filed 144 patent-infringement lawsuits against farmers between 1997 and 2010. But, farmers should simply trust them?
“It is a very bizarre ruling that relies on a paragraph on a website,” said Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety about the ruling. “It is a very real threat to American farmers. This is definitely appealable.”
Many farmers have had their fields inadvertently contaminated with GM seeds, namely soybeans and corn that is “Roundup-Ready”. Not only should these farmers not have to worry about legal action from Monsanto, they should be the ones taking legal action. After all, these organic farmers are working hard to create healthy, whole foods for American people, but their fields are vulnerable to Monsanto’s contamination.
The people of the world have a growing disdain for Monsanto, their foods, and their lack of concern. Here’s hoping the Appeals Court decision is appealed to the Supreme Court, and here’s hoping other high profile Monsanto cases and campaigns continue to gain traction.