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.
Monday, July 2, 2012
Congress’ big gift to Monsanto
By Tom Philpott
July 2, 2012
Big Ag’s big bucks get results on GMO labeling
If you want your crops to bear fruit, you have to feed the soil. Few industries understand that old farming truism better than ag-biotech—the few companies that dominate the market for genetically modified seeds and other novel farming technologies. And they realize that the same wisdom applies to getting what you want in Washington, DC.
According to this 2010 analysis  from Food & Water Watch, the ag-biotech industry spent $547.5 million between 1999 and 2009. It employed more than 100 lobbying firms in 2010 alone, FWW reports, in addition to their own in-house lobbying teams.
The gusher continues. The most famous ag-biotech firm of all, Monsanto, spent $1.4 million on lobbying in the first three months of 2012, after shelling out $6.3 million total last year, “more than any other agribusiness firm except the tobacco company Altria,” reports  the money-in-politics tracker OpenSecrets.org. Industry trade groups like the Biotechnology Industry Organization and Croplife America have weighed in with $1.8 million and $524,000, respectively.
What fruits have been borne by such generous fertilizing of the legislative terrain? It’s impossible to tie the fate of any bit of legislation directly to an industry’s lobbying power, but here are two unambiguous legislative victories won on the Hill this month by Monsanto and its peers.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Monsanto faces $7.5 billion payout to Brazilian farmers
by Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero
June 28, 2012
Monsanto, the largest seed corporation in the world, may have to pay as much as $7.5 billion to five million Brazilian soy farmers.
The company has long dealt out severe legal sanctions against farmers it suspects of “pirating” its seed. But now the farmers have turned the tables on Monsanto, by suing the company and winning.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
US wants to control Pakistan agriculture
June 24, 2012
Islamabad—Chairman Agriforum Pakistan Ibrahim Mughal has claimed that the US agrichemical Company Monsanto has planning to get its control over Pakistan’s agriculture for setting up its monopoly.
While talking to media on Friday Ibrahim Mughal said that for the free economy it was necessary that Monsanto should not be allowed in Pakistan.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Genetically modified India
By Gokul Chandrasekar (writing by Robert MacMillan)
June 20, 2012
The debate over regulating genetically modified crops in India is back after two years of silence that followed the moratorium on the Bt brinjal, a genetically modified eggplant. This is thanks to the government’s wavering policy on agricultural biotechnology. If you study its policy since the eggplant flare-up, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was designed to do two things that don’t quite fit together.
Here is what happened:
The government released its report on the hills of the Western Ghats nearly nine months after the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) submitted it, and then only under a court order. The report, among other things, warned that genetically modified organisms were a threat to biodiversity in India. The government attached a disclaimer to the report, saying that it has not formally accepted the conclusions.