Friday, July 6, 2012
Organic farmers file appeal against Monsanto
Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA
July 6 2012
Farmers and organizations file brief Appellate Court today
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Seventy-five family farmers, seed businesses, and agricultural organizations representing over 300,000 individuals and 4,500 farms filed a brief today with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington asking the appellate court to reverse a lower court’s decision from February dismissing their protective legal action against agricultural giant Monsanto’s patents on genetically engineered seed.
The plaintiffs brought the pre-emptive case against Monsanto in March 2011 in the Southern District of New York and specifically seek to defend themselves from nearly two dozen of Monsanto’s most aggressively asserted patents on GMO seed. They were forced to act pre-emptively to protect themselves from Monsanto’s abusive lawsuits, fearing that if GMO seed contaminates their property despite their efforts to prevent such contamination, Monsanto will sue them for patent infringement.
“It’s time to end Monsanto’s scorched earth legal campaign of threats and intimidation against America’s farmers. Family farmers should be protected by the courts against the unwanted genetic contamination of their crops,” said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!, a grassroots community of more than 300,000 farmers and citizens dedicated to reforming food and agriculture, that is co-plaintiff in the suit.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Expert warns of illegal GM papaya on EU market
June 29, 2012
The food and fruit industries to be vigilant against a banned variety of genetically modified papaya coming into the EU from Thailand, say experts.
The warning comes after a ‘wave’ of genetically modified (GM) papaya was rejected by European Union Border Controls in June.
Richard Werran, Managing Director of Cert ID Europe, noted that Thailand is an important global producer of papaya – with a significant percentage exported primarily to Europe.
“Although genetically modified crops are not permitted in Thailand, there is support for GM technology and it would appear that GM seeds for an EU banned variety of papaya have been illegally distributed to farmers across Thailand,” he suggests.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
GM crop trials are needless and reckless
By Joanna Blythman
May 24, 2012
Canadian researchers have found traces of GM pesticide in 93 per cent of baby foetuses
This Sunday, exasperated farmers and citizens will travel to a field near Harpenden to uproot a crop of genetically modified wheat. They have been denounced in purple prose by pro-GM commentators, as science haters, “Nazi book burners” and vandals. But what else can concerned citizens do when the company conducting the GM wheat trial, Rothamsted Research, presses on recklessly with an open field experiment that has the potential to contaminate neighbouring farmers’ crops and trigger unpredictable impacts on other species?
Recent Swiss research shows that some GM wheat varieties can cross-pollinate with crops more than 2.75km away, and that in the field, they cross-pollinate six times more than conventional varieties. Yet in contamination incidents involving long-grain rice in the US and flax in Canada, GM companies refused to accept liability.
Friday, May 18, 2012
Destroy GMO-tainted papaya crops, researcher says
By Pongphon Sarnsamak
May 18, 2012
Academics yesterday called on the Agriculture Department to destroy farms growing Hawaiian papaya in Kanchanaburi province after a recent study found that these crops might be contaminated with genetically modified organisms (GMO).
The move came after a study conducted by Piyasak Chaumpluk from Chulalongkorn University’s Department of Botany revealed on Wednesday that 29 samples of Hawaiian papaya tested in Kanchanaburi province were tainted.
”Tests show that papaya grown in 50-rai in Kanchanaburi province have GMO,” Piyasak said. ”The department should destroy these farms in order to prevent the contamination from spreading.”
Piyasak said he had all the information ready, but did not want to make any of it public as it would affect the farmers. He also called on the department to compensate farmers whose farms would be destroyed, adding the authorities should not blame the farmers for this.
”I don’t think they knew that the papaya seeds were tainted with GMO,” he said.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Judge sides with Monsanto
February 27, 2012
Ridicules farmers’ right to grow food without fear, contamination and economic harm
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.”