|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|September 05, 2013||207-429-9765|
|Wood Prairie Farm|
American Farmers Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court to Seek Protection from
Genetic Contamination and
Invalidate Monsanto's Patents on Genetically Engineered Crops
New York – September 5, 2013 –
A group of 73 American
organic and conventional family farmers, seed businesses and public
groups asked the
U.S. Supreme Court today to hear their case against Monsanto
Company challenging the chemical and biotech seed giant’s patents on
genetically engineered seed. In Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association
(OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto, the plaintiffs have been forced
preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent
should their fields ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically
engineered seed, something Monsanto has done to others in the past.
The plaintiffs brought the pre-emptive case against Monsanto in March 2011 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.
“We have been farming for almost forty years and we have never wanted anything to do with Monsanto,” said Jim Gerritsen, an organic seed farmer in
In the case, the plaintiffs are asking the courts to declare that if organic farmers are ever contaminated by Monsanto's genetically engineered seed, they need not fear also being accused of patent infringement. One reason justifying this result is that Monsanto's patents on genetically engineered seed are invalid because they don't meet the “usefulness” requirement of patent law, according to Ravicher. Evidence cited in the plaintiffs' court filings proves that genetically engineered seed has negative economic and health effects, while the promised benefits of genetically engineered seed – increased production and decreased herbicide use – are false.
As Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote in 1817, to be patentable, an invention must not be “injurious to the well-being, good policy, or sound morals of society,” and “a new invention to poison people ... is not a patentable invention.” Because transgenic seed, and in particular Monsanto's transgenic seed, is “injurious to the well-being, good policy, or sound morals of society” and threatens to “poison people,” Monsanto's transgenic seed patents are all invalid.
With the rapid adoption of Monsanto’s genetically engineered seed technology,
“For the past twenty years, Monsanto has used its political and financial power to foist a deeply flawed technology on America’s farmers, consistently underestimating the real risks of genetic engineering while putting America’s farmers, the environment and the public in harm’s way simply in the name of profit,” said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!, a grassroots movement of more than 650,000 farmers and citizens. “As the leading arbiters of justice in the U.S., it behooves the Supreme Court to hear this important case to protect America’s farmers from abusive patent infringement lawsuits and invalidate Monsanto’s flawed patents as their products have been shown to be damaging to human health and the environment and failed to live up to the marketing hype.”
About Maine's Wood Prairie Farm (www.woodprairie.com; 800-829-9765)
Wood Prairie Farm is located in Aroostook County, Northern Maine's historic center of potato farming. For nearly 40 years, Jim & Megan Gerritsen and their family have been farming organically and grow the finest potatoes, seed, grain and vegetables. Wood Prairie Farm's organic seed potatoes, kitchen potatoes, vegetable and cover crop seeds and other organic products are available direct to the customer by mail order from the farm's website and catalog.
Wood Prairie Farm is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/woodprairiefarm.
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This Press Release is loaded on the Wood Prairie Farm website: http://www.woodprairie.com/pressrelease_090513Complete background information about OSGATA et al v. Monsanto is available at www.woodprairiefarm.com
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