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Several farmers organizations linked to organic production filed this week a complaint against US agribusiness giant Monsanto, in a New York Court. According to the Pubilc Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), this action seeks to prohibit Monsanto from suing farmers if contaminated with the GM seeds produced by the company.
The plaintiff organizations represent approximately 270,000 people and aim to prove that the legal argument provided by Monsanto to patent seeds is wrong, since the GMOs produced by this company have negative economic and health effects.
“This case asks whether Monsanto has the right to sue organic farmers for patent infringement if Monsanto’s transgenic seed should land on their property,” said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT’s Executive Director in a press release issued yesterday by the Foundation. “It seems quite perverse that an organic farmer contaminated by transgenic seed could be accused of patent infringement, but Monsanto has made such accusations before and is notorious for having sued hundreds of farmers for patent infringement, so we had to act to protect the interests of our clients”, he added.
Also, Ravicher said that history tells us that GM seeds cannot coexist with organic seeds, and “it’s actually in Monsanto’s financial interest to eliminate organic seeds so that they can have a total monopoly over our food supply.”
One example is the contamination of organic canola with GM canola in the US, virtually leading to its extinction. Also, other organic crops, such as alfalfa and cotton are also threatened by the advance of GMOs.
“We must protect our world by protecting our most precious, sacred resource of seed sovereignty”, said one of the plaintiffs, Rose Marie Burroughs of California Cloverleaf Farms.” “People must have the right to the resources of the earth for our sustenance,” she added.
Meanwhile, the company has not officially responded to the complaint in their website, although there was a response in their blog “Beyond the rows”, where they state that the accusations are false and they consider the complaint a publicity stunt to confuse the public about agriculture in the US.
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