Judge Rules In Monsanto Seed Case
"By Jim Gerritsen
EcoFarm, February 27, 2012
On February 24, Judge Naomi Buchwald handed down her ruling on a motion to dismiss in the case of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Assn et al v. Monsanto after hearing oral argument on January 31st in Federal District Court in Manhattan. Her ruling to dismiss the case brought against Monsanto on behalf of organic farmers, seed growers and agricultural organizations representing farmers and citizens was met with great disappointment by the plaintiffs.
Plaintiff lead attorney Daniel Ravicher said, "While I have great respect for Judge Buchwald, her decision to deny farmers the right to seek legal protection from one of the world's foremost patent bullies is gravely disappointing. Her belief that farmers are acting unreasonable when they stop growing certain crops to avoid being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement should their crops become contaminated maligns the intelligence and integrity of those farmers. Her failure to address the purpose of the Declaratory Judgment Act and her characterization of binding Supreme Court precedent that supports the farmers' standing as 'wholly inapposite' constitute legal error. In sum, her opinion is flawed on both the facts and the law. Thankfully, the plaintiffs have the right to appeal to the Court of Appeals, which will review the matter without deference to her findings."
Monsanto's history of aggressive investigations and lawsuits brought against farmers in America have been a source of concern for organic and non-GMO farmers since Monsanto's first lawsuit brought against a farmer in the mid-90's. Since then, 144 farmers have had lawsuits brought against them by Monsanto for alleged violations of their patented seed technology. Monsanto has brought charges against more than 700 additional farmers who have settled out-of-court rather than face Monsanto's belligerent litigious actions. Many of these farmers claim to not have had the intention to grow or save seeds that contain Monsanto's patented genes. Seed drift and pollen drift from genetically engineered crops often contaminate neighboring fields. If Monsanto's seed technology is found on a farmer's land without contract they can be found liable for patent infringement.
"Family farmers need the protection of the court," said Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen, President of lead plaintiff OSGATA. "We reject as naive and indefensible the judge's assertion that Monsanto's vague public relations 'commitment' should be 'a source of comfort' to plaintiffs. The truth is we are under threat and we do not believe Monsanto. The truth is that American farmers and the American people do not believe Monsanto. Family farmers deserve our day in court and this flawed ruling will not deter us from continuing to seek justice."
I also wanted to mention that the fact that this judge and Monsanto think that transgenic contamination is not a problem because you can move your crops far enough away to keep transgenic pollution from infecting your crops is also an admittance of the substantial equivalence myth and actually was a confession that it does occur. I suppose they are truly living in denial because wind is not the only thing that carries this pollen. It is carried by animals, bees, birds and water.
It enters the entire ecosystem along with the Glyphosate (RoundUp) sprayed on these GM crops which has also been shown to be pervasive in our rivers and streams. Studies have also shown that this pollution can also be carried into the wild and also affects soil bacteria, nematods, worms and other soil organisms thus affecting soil health which in turn affects yield.
This is pervasive throughout globally so I can only presume about this decision which didn't even take a month to deliberate on is that there may have been more involved in it than the judge's own judgement, which in my opinion was deeply flawed.
Here is the decision. I am not a lawyer, but it looks to me as if the judge is saying that a declaratory judgment could not be rendered against Monsanto due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The fact that contamination "could" happen was not enough to bring it to trial, even though Monsanto has sued 144 farmers it actually has happened to, basically intimidating them into settling. Basically, the judge claimed their patents are not detrimental to farmers. Sorry, but I find that to be a crock. Life is not a patent.
Let this ruling then be a clarion call to all American farmers: boycott these seeds. They will only bring you misery. This fight is not over.
Monsanto Puts Liability For Seeds On Farmers