Colonialism in Disguise: Farmers Sued for Reusing Monsanto Seeds*
By Christina Sarich
Where is the justice? Since 1997, Monsanto has filed 145 lawsuits, or on average about 9 lawsuits every year for 16 straight years, against farmers who have “improperly reused their patented seeds.”
The biotech giant hasn’t lost a single case, either. Not one. This includes when farmers tried to sue Monsanto over cross-pollination of their organic crops with GMO seed. For example, a federal court dismissed one of those cases, saying that it couldn’t protect Monsanto against unfair lawsuits should they side in the farmers’ favor.
What about unfair business practices? What about 92% of people saying they want their food labeled if it contains genetically modified ingredients? What about the right of farmers to grow food from seed that hasn’t been altered to turn it into a DNA freak show?
The lawsuit representing over 300,000 farmers who wanted the right to grow organic food was also dismissed on the grounds that the plaintiffs had been sued by Monsanto! The judge said the farmers’ reasons for suing the biotech giant were ‘unsubstantiated.’ When Monsanto released a statement to the press, they said the plaintiffs had:
“overstate[d] the magnitude of [Monsanto’s] patent enforcement,” noting that Monsanto’s average of roughly 13 lawsuits per year “is hardly significant when compared to the number of farms in the United States, approximately 2 million.”
If these facts are representative of a country that has utterly lost its governing bodies to thieves and murderers, then I don’t know what it will take to recover our food supply.
Monsanto was given a foot in the door back in 1930 with the Plant Patent Act. Patents – whether on new plants or biotech traits – allow the creator of the technology the opportunity to commercialize their innovation and to obtain a return on their investment of time and money.
And while plant patents aren’t all bad, Monsanto and biotech have turned Mother Nature on her head. Seed patents to this extent should never have been allowed to happen. Monsanto isn’t even protecting their ‘intellectual’ property any more, they are grossly infringing on farmers’ rights to grow good food.
Our courts are even telling organic farmers they have to rely on Monsanto’s assurances on the company’s website that it will not sue them so long as the mix of GMO to non-GMO is very slight, but what if they don’t want a mix at all? Monsanto can’t control wind, rain, pollinating insects, and cross-contamination carried out by nature for neighboring farms.