Organic farmers seek government protection from Monsanto

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An anti-Monsanto demonstration at the White House this past Saturday. (Thanks to 'mar is sea Y' for the photo.)
  • An anti-Monsanto demonstration at the White House this past Saturday. (Thanks to 'mar is sea Y' for the photo.)

There's no way I can explain the dynamics between Monsanto — a massive chemical and seed producer — and the organic food industry in this post, but feel free to clue yourself in over at OrganicConsumers.org, where you can sign up to participate in the "Millions Against Monsanto" campaign if you're so inclined.

To sum up: Monsanto has the farming industry by the balls.

In the meantime, here's a snippet from a Reuters report that details a lawsuit between organic farmers and smaller seed producers and Monsanto:

A consortium of U.S. organic farmers and seed dealers filed suit against global seed giant Monsanto Co. on Tuesday, in a move to protect themselves from what they see as a growing threat in the company's arsenal of genetically modified crops.

The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed the suit on behalf of more than 50 organizations challenging the agricultural giant's patents on its genetically modified seeds. The group is seeking a ruling that would prohibit Monsanto from suing the farmers or dealers if their organic seed becomes contaminated with Monsanto's patented biotech seed germplasm.

Monsanto is known for its zealous defense of its patents on a range of genetically altered crops. Its patented "Roundup Ready" soybeans, corn and cotton are favorites of U.S. farmers because of their ability to withstand herbicide treatments.

But Monsanto has filed scores of lawsuits and won judgments against farmers they claimed made use of their seed without paying required royalties.

Many farmers have claimed that their fields were inadvertently contaminated without their knowledge, and the issue has been a topic of concern for not only farmers, but also companies that clean and handle seed.

Read the rest of this article, by Carey Gillam, here.

Further reading: Coalition adviser orders review of "safe" pesticidesThe Independent

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