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.”
Monsanto prevails in suit brought by organic growers
By Carey Gillam
February 27, 2012
Lawsuit against Monsanto dismissed, judge finds no injury
Organic growers considering appeal, say threat is real
Ruling criticizes plaintiffs for creating “controversy”
A federal judge has ruled in favor of global seed giant Monsanto Co, dismissing a lawsuit brought by a consortium of U.S. organic farmers and seed dealers who said their industry is at risk from Monsanto’s growing market strength.
U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Buchwald, for the Southern District of New York, threw out the case brought by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) and dozens of other plaintiff growers and organizations, criticizing the groups for a “transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists.”
The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed the suit last March on behalf of more than 50 organizations challenging the agricultural giant’s patents on its genetically modified seeds. The group wanted 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.
But Judge Buchwald said Monsanto had not sued or even started the process of suing anyone of the plaintiffs or anyone in “similar stead.”
“We’re disappointed. We think the judge erred in her ruling,” said Jim Gerritsen, spokesman for the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association.
Daniel Ravicher, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said farmers stop growing certain crops to avoid being sued by Monsanto and the court’s refusal to protect those farmers was a mistake.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Canadian farmer warns of GM dangers
By Stephanie Anderson
February 17, 2012
Financial ruin and loss of organic agriculture will be part of the future Australia if genetically modified crop trials continue, according to Canadian farmer Peter Eggers.
Mr Eggers is facing similar consequences on his Alberta property after first trialling GM canola in the 1990s. Aside from providing no financial gain, he said the initial trial had left him unable to produce the crop organically.
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“That is impossible,” he said. “Once the cat is out of the bag, it’s hard to get her back in.”
Mr Eggers and fellow Canadian National Farmers Union member Matt Gehl were in Canberra this week, speaking with government representatives and farming organisations on their experiences with GM crops.