Maine's Leading Independent News Source
Fort Fairfield Journal About Us Contact Us Advertising Rates Subscribe Distribution Bible Reference Our Library
ORGANIC FARMERS v. MONSANTO
Over Farmers' Rights Against Monsanto Continues to Brew
"Farmers have the right to protect themselves from being falsely accused
of patent infringement by Monsanto before they are contaminated by Monsanto's
transgenic seed," said Dan Ravicher, Executive Director of the Public
Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), a not-for-profit legal services organization based
at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law that represents the plaintiffs.
"Judge Buchwald erred by denying plaintiffs that right and they have now
initiated the process of having her decision reversed."
"Farmers are under threat. Our right to farm the way we choose, and
to grow pure organic seed and healthy food on our farms for our
families and for our customers is under assault," said
Plaintiff/Appellant group is comprised of individual family farmers, small and
family-owned seed companies and agricultural organizations. They are all
organic or committed to farming without using genetically engineered seeds,
and have no desire to ever farm with Monsanto's patented GMO technology.
However, they are fearful that Monsanto seed will trespass onto
their farms and that the resulting contamination of their crops will be viewed
by Monsanto as illegal 'possession' resulting in patent infringement
allegations. Monsanto's harassment of family farmers is well known in farm
country, the biotech seed and chemical giant has one of the most aggressive
patent assertion agendas in U.S. history. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto
admits to filing 144 lawsuits against America's family farmers, while settling
another 700 cases out of court for undisclosed amounts and imposing gag orders
on farmers. The farmers' fears were heightened when Monsanto refused to
provide a legally binding covenant not to sue, signaling Monsanto's intention
to maintain their option to sue innocent family farmers in the future.
"America's farmers deserve to be protected under the law from the
unwanted genetic contamination of their crops by Monsanto's flawed genetically
engineered seed technology," said David Murphy, founder and Executive
Director of Food Democracy Now!, an Iowa-based national advocacy organization
of more than 300,000 members. "These farmers have no desire to use
Monsanto's GMO seeds, yet they are forced into the untenable position of
losing their right to farm in the manner in which they choose, face legal
intimidation and the loss of economic livelihood, all because America's legal
system has failed to adequately protect them from the real threat of genetic
trespass that is inherent as a result of Monsanto's patented GMO seeds and the
natural biological functions of cross pollination from wind, insects or
Appellants in the suit represented by PUBPAT are: Organic Seed Growers
and Trade Association; Organic Crop Improvement Association International,
Inc. (OCIA); Food Democracy Now!; The Cornucopia Institute; Demeter
Association, Inc.; Navdanya International; Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners
Association; Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter,
Inc.; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont; Rural Vermont; Ohio
Ecological Food & Farm Association; Southeast Iowa Organic Association;
Mendocino Organic Network (California); Northeast Organic Dairy Producers
Alliance; Canadian Organic Growers; Family Farmer Seed Cooperative;
Sustainable Living Systems (Montana); Global Organic Alliance;
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund; Weston A. Price Foundation; Center for
Food Safety; Beyond Pesticides; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Rhode
Island; Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire; Northeast
Organic Farming Association of Connecticut; Northeast Organic Farming
Association of New York; Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance; Michael
Fields Agricultural Institute (Wisconsin); Midwest Organic Dairy Producers
Alliance; Florida Organic Growers; Peace River Organic Producers Association
(Alberta and British Columbia); FEDCO Seeds, Inc. (Maine); Adaptive Seeds, LLC
(Oregon); Sow True Seed (North Carolina); Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
(Virginia); Mumm's Sprouting Seeds (Saskatchewan); Baker Creek Heirloom Seed
Co., LLC (Missouri); Comstock, Ferre & Co. LLC (Connecticut); Seedkeepers,
LLC (California); Siskiyou Seeds (Oregon); Countryside Organics (Virginia);
Cuatro Puertas (New Mexico); Seed We Need (Montana), Wild Garden Seed
(Oregon); Alba Ranch (Kansas); Wild Plum Farm (Montana); Gratitude Gardens
(Washington); Richard Everett Farm, LLC (Nebraska); Philadelphia Community
Farm, Inc. (Wisconsin); Genesis Farm (New Jersey); Chispas Farms, LLC (New
Mexico); Midheaven Farms (Minnesota); Koskan Farms (South Dakota); California
Cloverleaf Farms; North Outback Farm (North Dakota); Taylor Farms, Inc.
(Utah); Ron Gargasz Organic Farms (Pennsylvania); Abundant Acres (Missouri); T
& D Willey Farms (California); Quinella Ranch (Saskatchewan); Nature's Way
Farm, Ltd. (Alberta); Levke and Peter Eggers Farm (Alberta); Frey Vineyards,
Ltd. (California); Bryce Stephens (Kansas); Chuck Noble (South Dakota); LaRhea
Pepper (Texas); Paul Romero (New Mexico); Donald Wright Patterson, Jr.
(Virginia); Common Good Farm; LLC (Nebraska); American Buffalo Company
(Nebraska; Full Moon Farm, Inc. (Vermont); Radiance Dairy (Iowa); Brian L.
Wickert (Wisconsin); Bruce Drinkman (Wisconsin); and Murray Bast (Ontario).
Wood Prairie Farm is located in Aroostook County, Northern Maine's historic center of potato farming. For over 35 years, Jim & Megan Gerritsen and their family have been farming organically and grow the finest potatoes, seed and vegetables. Wood Prairie Farm's organic seed potatoes, kitchen potatoes, vegetable and cover crop seeds and other products are available direct to the customer by mail order from its website and catalog. Wood Prairie Farm is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/woodprairiefarm.
Complete background information about OSGATA et al v. Monsanto is available at www.woodprairie.com/wpf_news.