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      Organic News and Commentary                                            Trade Association Defend Lawsuit             
          Thursday October 18, 2012                           

     Below is the response we submitted to an NPR article by Dan Charles which appeared today. We feel compelled to respond in order to set the record straight. Mr. Charles did not reach out to me or any of our lawyers at the Public Patent Foundation for comment prior to his story being published.
     At the bottom of our response is a link to the original article Mr. Charles posted on the NPR website.

Jim Gerritsen, President
Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association
Lead Plaintiff, OSGATA et al v. Monsanto
Washington, Maine

On Myth 2, Mr. Charles completely adopts Monsanto's argument on these points and ignores the evidence submitted by the plaintiffs in the OSGATA et al v Monsanto lawsuit, like me, that Monsanto has repeatedly accused those contaminated with its seed of patent infringement, including Troy Roush (as documented by the Associated Press
https://www.purefood.org/Monsanto/SeedSavingSuits.cfm) and Dawn and David Runyon (as documented by CBS https://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-4048288.html). Monsanto has not denied these cases, and instead points to other cases where farmers were not contaminated. But just because Monsanto sometimes sues farmers who intentionally used their seed DOES NOT mean they've NEVER accused farmers who did not intentionally possess their seed.
     Further, what's the word "trace" mean when Monsanto says "We won't sue farmers for possessing TRACE amounts of our seed." Contamination is often unnoticeable unless/until someone tests their seed supply or is contaminated by RoundUp and then notices some of their field doesn't suffer. Thus, contamination can be in much more than "trace" amounts. Lastly, we asked Monsanto to simply put in writing that they'd never sue us before we moved forward with the case. You can see all the letters between us and them at the end of our Amended Complaint here https://www.pubpat.org/monsanto-seed-patents.htm.
     Instead of simply confirming they'd never sue us, since we want nothing to do with their GE seed, Monsanto instead hired a team of lawyers and accused us, the plaintiffs, of trying to pull a publicity stunt and being liars. I'd much rather be tending to the work on my seed farm than being involved in a lawsuit against one of the biggest, most aggressive companies in the world, but I have to protect myself and this case, where we're only seeking the peace of mind that Monsanto could never sue us for patent infringement (and not a single dime), is the only way to do so.
     If Mr. Charles really thinks its a "myth" that Monsanto would ever sue me or my co-plaintiffs or other organic, biodynamic and plainly non-GMO farmers for patent infringement, I'd gladly take an insurance policy from him offering to defend me from any potential accusations in the future. If he's not willing to give me that insurance policy, then he's not willing to put his money where his mouth is, which is exactly what I'm being forced to do today, put my money and my business and my family's future on the line hoping and praying Monsanto never sues me for patent infringement when I get contaminated by their seed, something they do not even dispute will happen due to the prevalence of their seed in the marketplace.

 Jim Gerritsen, President
 Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association

Click Here to Read the Original NPR Article

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Jim & Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Farm
49 Kinney Road
Bridgewater, Maine 04735
(800) 829-9765 Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm