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02/01/2012 02:23 PM     print story email story  

Landmark Lawsuit Against Monsanto Gets Day in Court

SustainableBusiness.com News

On Jan. 31, a Federal District Court judge agreed to hear oral arguments for a landmark lawsuit - Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al. v. Monsanto.

Monsanto filed a pre-trial motion to dismiss the case in July - this hearing will determine whether the case can move forward. 

It was standing room only as family farmers from around North America filled the New York City courtroom.

Over 300,000 people are represented by 83 plaintiffs from 36 organizations in the case against Monsanto.

The lawsuit seeks to invalidate Monsanto's patents on genetically modified (GMO) seeds and to prohibit the company from suing those whose crops become genetically contaminated because they drift through the air.

Monsanto has created a culture of fear in the rural community by aggressively pursuing lawsuits against farmers for "genetic trespassing."

Dozens of farmers have been driven into bankruptcy and many organic and non-GMO farmers are now afraid to plant seeds.

Wouldn't it make more sense if organic farmers could sue Monsanto for contaminating their crops with their GMO seed?

The suit points to studies citing harm caused by Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, including human placental damage, lymphoma, myeloma, and other impacts on human health.

Plaintiffs also condemn Monsanto for preventing independent research on its transgenic seeds and for its successful lobbying efforts to ban GMO food labeling.

It also confronts Monsanto's propaganda that transgenic seeds improve yield and reduce pesticide use, when research shows the opposite is true. In fact, using GMOs is resulting in the emergence of resistant super-weeds.

"Thus, since the harm of transgenic seed is known, and the promises of transgenic seed's benefits are false, transgenic seed is not useful for society," say the plantiffs.

The Federal District Court judge will make a decision on whether the case can move forward by March 31st.

Should the court agree that transgenic seeds fail the test of patent law, the suit could potentially reverse patent approval on all biotech seeds, impacting BASF, Bayer, DuPont, Dow, and Syngenta, and others.

Occupy Wall Street Food Justice, Occupy Big Food and Food Democracy Now! assembled at NYC's Foley Square to support farmers on the front lines of the struggle against corporate domination of the nation's food system.

They held a Citizen's Assembly, depicting Monsanto's infamous 100 year history including Agent Orange, Dioxin, PCBs and now GMO food. Speakers addressed topics ranging from sustainable agriculture to risks associated with GMOs to issues of food justice.

Meanwhile, a former Monsanto lobbyist, Michael Taylor, serves as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) food safety czar!

Learn more about the lawsuit and OSGATA.

Sign this petition to get the Monsanto lobbyist fired:

Website: http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/fire_michael_taylor/index2.html?rc=tw2



Reader Comments (14)

Author:
Bob Jones

Date Posted:
02/02/12 01:22 PM

Conflict of interest is clear.

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Author:
m Simmons

Date Posted:
02/03/12 04:19 AM

could it be that the judge needs that much time to ask Monsanto/Michael Taylor how she should word her ruling that will be in Monsantos favor?

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Author:
SHANNAH SCHILIT

Date Posted:
02/03/12 04:31 AM

Whether Or Not The Case Can Move Forward?--there shouldn't have Ever even NEEDED To Be A Case!--Monsanto Did NOT Invent The DNA Of The Seed!--And He Possesses An Illegitimate "patent"....If He Can PROVE He Created The SEED....Then He Has A RIGHT To Keep His "paper"...He Robbed The SEED That Belonged To ALL People--Mixed It, Distorted It And DISEASED OUT NATIONS...That Deserves Prosecution!--Not "patent" SHANNAH

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Author:
LEONARDO MORALES

Date Posted:
02/03/12 07:15 AM

this an abomination, and why we let monsanto get away with this is beyond me. First a generic labeling law where food companies dont have to tell us what is really in there. Now crush all the small farmers for even planting a nutritious crop. We need to band together to show them we have had enough.

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Author:
Joe

Date Posted:
02/03/12 04:44 PM

The world would starve with organic farming practices! Quite simply, organic food production cannot keep up with the worlds growing population and demand for food. The term "organic" is heavily exploited and marketed and is now a $50B "business" in North America alone.

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Author:
Dayna Mitchell

Date Posted:
02/03/12 05:19 PM

When the Spanish missionaries and conquistadors arrived in Mexico, they forbade the natives from planting Amaranth. This helped bring about the end of the great Mayan and Aztec civilizations and led to dependence on the colonial government. History repeats itself!

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Author:
Howard M Gardella

Date Posted:
02/03/12 07:39 PM

God bless this work we pray, We the People do not answer to corporation's they answer to us and this wicked work of Greed needs to be ended with the whole lot of those responsible put in prison and all asset's given to farmers who were rob of there farm rights monsanto is a terrorist corporation.

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Author:
SB Smith

Date Posted:
02/03/12 09:32 PM

Is this a jury or a bench trial ? Juries can be incredibly Stupid these days. I'm praying that this goes against Monsanto. They've been long overdue for a huge blow like this to at least set them back. In a perfect world, they'd have to declare bankruptcy. Instead, I can hope for a metaphorical smack upside Monsanto's head with a 2x4.

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Author:
JM

Date Posted:
02/03/12 02:00 AM

I am wondering which Monsanto PR blurb "Joe" got his opinion from regarding organic farming not being able to feed the "world's growing population". Giant factory farming practices and industry control of farming practices has caused so much damage to local food supplies from pricing, to poisons, to starving out family and subsistence farmers. Yes, I'm sure we could use some recent technology to aid farmers, however the "Monsanto" way is NOT the way!!

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Author:
joe jacovino

Date Posted:
02/03/12 03:56 AM

I applaud all of the commenters, except for the one fool who thinks that anything but caring for this planet without chemicals can end the plague of poison that is laying land to waste, or else producing nutritionally devoid crops that are sickening our population. the reference to the aztecs may have been accurate, but it is not what we are seeing now with Monsanto, far from it. Go Farmers!!! Slay the Goliath !!!

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Author:
Rona Fried

Date Posted:
02/04/12 04:45 PM

The FACT is - organic agricultural practices can feed the world. Read our article, Organic Farming Outperforms Conventional Practices in 30 Year Study: http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/22918 Organic farmers actually get the same or higher yields because they work with nature, rather than exploiting it. If we lose bees, as we are getting close to doing, it will crash all kinds of agriculture and it will be because of the toxic pesticides used. Organic agriculture is also crucial for sequestering carbon in the soil, which is released by conventional ag which destroys the micro-organisms in the soil. http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/21824

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Author:
Jeffrey Von Stetten

Date Posted:
02/04/12 10:29 PM

so stoked to see this. All the hundreds of thousands of years farming has been done successfully without pesticides and gmo's,you would think the bio terrorism and pollution initiated by monsanto would have been a no brainer shut down in a short while but somehow they keep being tolerated and allowed to find safe haven in america when virtually almost all the other first world nations have told them to get the hell out with their perverted toxic agenda and poisons. So proud of these farmers.

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Author:
algernon

Date Posted:
02/05/12 01:59 PM

Credible scientists say that the fundamental assumption behind genetic engineering is flawed. Monsanto's genetic engineering is dangerous, so it's not just about economic fairness for farmers, it's also about the 'clear and present danger' that Monsanto and GMO's have created for human beings and other living creatures all over the world. In America, the People are Sovereign, not Monsanto. Monsanto's unfair influence over USDA/FDA/Congress is shameful.

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Author:
JD Mumma

Date Posted:
02/06/12 05:28 AM

Caveat Venditor — "Let the seller beware" and Caveat Emptor (Let the buyer beware!!) - Want to STOP Monsanto and companies like them... Then we start by STOPPING people from giving them our MONEY! We need to actually READ labels. STOP consuming product grown with TOXIC pesticides (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesticide): algaecides, Avicides, Bactericides, Fungicides, Herbicides, Insecticides (e.g. organochlorines, organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroids), Miticides, Molluscicides, Nematicides, Rodenticides, Virucides; herbicides, larvacides, ... humancides AND Infanticides (things that abuse and kill our children)! Stop buying and putting know destructive non-food into our bodies. STOP eating GMO's (Genetically Modified Organism). STOP drinking milk and eating milk products from bovine prisons (yes they are are there against there will!) that use Bovine Growth Hormone. STOP consuming short term pleasure things that long term abuse our bodies and our home planet.

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