Answers for a
Newfoundland College Student.
we were asked to
respond to five questions put to us by a college student working on a
project on GE food. Find my answers in Bold. Jim.
take such measures as filing a lawsuit against Monsanto when they have
stated on their website that "it has never been, nor will be,
Monsanto's policy to exercise its patent rights where trace amounts of
our patented seeds or traits are present in a farmer's fields as a
result of inadvertent means" ?
are at risk. The record shows we are wise to not believe Monsanto. Only
a fool would imagine that an anonymous statement on a company website
has a grain of legal validity. Monsanto's so called "Commitment to
Farmers," posted on their website is replete with vague and undefined
legal phrases such as "trace amounts" and "inadvertent means." Even if
honestly represented the Monsanto policy today, what would prevent
Monsanto from changing their policy tomorrow? The fact is our attorneys
asked Monsanto for a binding legal covenant that they would not sue our
farmers should they become contaminated. Monsanto refused. That says
Additionally, Monsanto has
pursued farmers who have wanted nothing to do with their technology.
here are three examples.
c. The Nelson Family. ND.
2. Have any of the
plaintiffs in the suit ever been directly acted upon by Monsanto?
is a preemptive Declatory Judgment Act lawsuit (see above) and we are
seeking prophylactic Court protection. Additionally, since we have a
very large Plaintiff group we do not know the individual experiences of
all 500,000 individuals in our Plaintiff group.
claims that their 145 suits against farmers in the United States is an
insignificant number compared to the two million farmers in the
country. What is your opinion on this?
that to those 145 farmers. Our federal lawsuit is a preemptive action
and seeks a Declatory Judgment by the Court to protect family farmers
under the provisions of the Declatory Judgment Act. The DJA was enacted
by Congress about 30 years ago to allow groups or businesses
receive a Court judgment as to whether they would be liable for patent
infringement prior to committing acts which might otherwise place them
at legal jeopardy. We have farmers in our Plaintiff group, who fearful
of being accused of patent infringement have given up growing organic
canola, organic corn and organic soybeans. They have suffered
significant economic harm already.
Click Here to Read The Brief
misrepresents reality when they refer repetitively to only the cases
which have gone to court. They ignore another 600+ cases which were
settled out-of-court and documented by Plaintiff Center for Food Safety.
Here to Read The Report
an unknown number of threatening accusatory letters, thought to be in
the thousands or tens of thousands, have been sent by Monsanto to
farmers questioning their behavior and alleged mis-use of Monsanto
technology. In fact, the number of farmers pursued by Monsanto was
considered a significant
percentage according to one of three Justices in the
January 2013 Court of Appeals Oral Argument.
Click Here to Read The Transcript
of Our Jan 2013 Oral Argument
would the lives of farmers change for the better if OSGATA won this
case so that they would not have to worry about being targeted by
our family farmers receive the Court protection we seek, we will gain
full use of our property and will be able to grow on our farms the
crops we choose without the fear of losing our farms and livelihoods in
trying to fight off one of the world's most notorious patent bullies.
All of our Plaintiffs have this in common: we are not customers of
Monsanto. We have not signed licensing agreements with Monsanto because
we do not want their technology. We therefore deserve protection from
any false claims of infringing on their patent rights.
5. Monsanto states on its
"detectable presence of GMO material in crop does not constitute a
violation of NOP standards and regulations, as long as a grower has not
intentionally planted GMO seed and has taken reasonable steps to avoid
contact with GMO pollen or seed or both". What is the opinion of
farmers in the OSGATA regarding this policy and the possibility of
misleading customers regarding the quality of their crops?
have been certified organic for 31 years. USDA NOP began their
regulation of the organic industry eleven years ago, in October 2002.
Many farmers, myself included believe the NOP interpretation on GE
content is incorrect in that it ignores the historical and current
expectation of the organic market. The fact is the organic market
equates organic food and seed with freedom from GE content. It is only
at an industry's peril that it ignores the expectations of its
customers. The members of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association,
the national trade organization of the Untied States organic seed
community respects the expectation of the market and some years ago
adopted the following policy.
Policy on Genetically Engineered (GE) Seed Contamination of organic
seed by genetically engineered (GE) seed - commonly referred to as GMOs
- constitutes irreparable harm to the organic seed industry and
undermines the integrity of organic seed. Any detectable level is