As Farmers Go For Round Two Against
Monsanto, Investors Remain Oblivious
Farmers will appear today before the U.S. Court of Appeals to seek protection against Monsanto, which is threatening them if any of its patented seeds is found in farms that it does not own. The case may be a turning point in the long-running struggle between the two sides.
Arguing on the farmers’ behalf, the Organic Seed Growers Association is appealing an earlier dismissal of their case by a federal judge, even though Monsanto was, as it still is, ready to take legal action against growers whose seeds may have been accidentally contaminated.
Since we’ve written about it last April (story below), the giant food corporation’s balance sheet has only grown stronger, though, while ever more vilified among independent farmers and consumer advocates. Ironically, then as now, it reported earnings gains, to glowing reviews by investors and analysts.
But although Monsanto’s unregulated research into genetically manipulation of seeds and crops is the focus and reason for its widespread unpopularity, this lawsuit is about yet another highly arguable claim: that it has the right to sue if what considers its property is found, say, in your own backyard.
In the case of farmers, that mean an impossibility, since seeds are carried along since immemorial times by natural forces such as birds, insects, wind, even erosion. No one should have to hire expensive lawyers to protect themselves from what may as well be the definition of ‘an act of god.’
THE LORD OF THE FRANKENSEEDS
Not for Monsanto, apparently, which has the financial muscle to sustain long battles, while it continues financing ways to manipulate crops guided only for the need to feed its corporate bottom line. We’ve tried to be as broad and comprehensive in our report, which is based on a variety of stories about the company.
We’re also thinking of the transcendence of what’s about to be decided in Washington, in the context of a more populated and hungrier world than ever. It’s quite clear which side most of us are in this issue: if Monsanto succeeds stomping down the resistance to its claim, that will be really great only to its shareholders.
If the farmers win, however, that will bring benefits across the board, and way beyond the absurd component of this lawsuit. Never mind the wind; Monsanto will have to prove beyond doubt that its seeds are not contaminating, in a wrong, disastrous way, the crops of those who chose to plant them the way it’s been done for centuries.
Plus, the greater focus will hopefully turn to Monsanto’s genetically manipulation of seeds, as such an enterprise should never be pursued solely under the premise of increasing profits, and without proper Continue reading