Monsanto, the court and the seeds of dissent

Monsanto, the court and the seeds of dissent

Postby Oscar » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:06 pm

Monsanto, the court and the seeds of dissent

[ http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/19 ... d-20130219 ]

Should Monsanto, or any corporation, have rights to a self-replicating natural product?

February 19, 2013|By George Kimbrell and Debbie Barker

On Tuesday, attorneys for the largest agrochemical corporation in the world, Monsanto, will present arguments before the Supreme Court asserting the company's rights to the generations of seeds that naturally reproduce from its genetically modified strains. Bowman vs. Monsanto Co. will be decided based on the court's interpretation of a complex web of seed and plant patent law, but the case also reflects something much more basic: Should anyone, or any corporation, control a product of life?

The journey of a 75-year-old Indiana farmer to the highest court in the country began rather uneventfully. Vernon Hugh Bowman purchased an undifferentiated mix of soybean seeds from a grain elevator, planted the seeds and then saved seed from the resulting harvest to replant another crop. Finding that Bowman's crops were largely the progeny of its genetically engineered proprietary soybean seed, Monsanto sued the farmer for patent infringement.

The case is a remarkable reflection on recent fundamental changes in farming. In the 200-plus years since the founding of this country, and for millenniums before that, seeds have been part of the public domain — available for farmers to exchange, save, modify through plant breeding and replant. Through this process, farmers developed a diverse array of plants that could thrive in various geographies, soils, climates and ecosystems. But today this history of seeds is seemingly forgotten in light of a patent system that, since the mid-1980s, has allowed corporations to own products of life.

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[ http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/19 ... d-20130219 ]

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Monsanto Canada v. Schmeiser

[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Schmeiser ]

Percy Schmeiser (born January 5, 1931) is a farmer from Bruno, Saskatchewan, Canada. He specializes in breeding and growing canola. He became an international symbol and spokesperson for independent farmers' rights and the regulation of transgenic crops during his protracted legal battle with multinational agrichemical company Monsanto. He was the subject of the 2009 film David Versus Monsanto.[1]

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In 1997, Percy Schmeiser found Monsanto's genetically modified “Roundup Ready Canola” plants growing near his farm. He testified that he sprayed his nearby field and found that much of the crop survived, meaning it was also Roundup Ready.[2] He testified that he then harvested that crop, saved it separately from his other harvest, and intentionally planted it in 1998.[2] Monsanto approached him to pay a license fee for using Monsanto's patented technology without a license. Schmeiser refused, claiming that the actual seed was his because it was grown on his land, and so Monsanto sued Schmeiser for patent infringement on August 6, 1998.[2]

For the next several years, the case traveled through the Canadian court system. Meanwhile, Schmeiser became a popular figure among those opposed to genetic engineering. He accepted speaking engagements around the world. Ultimately, a Supreme Court 5-4 ruling found in favor of Monsanto, because Schmeiser had intentionally replanted the Roundup Ready seed that he had saved.[3]

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[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Schmeiser ]

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MORE:

POWELL: Field of Nightmares - the Dark Side of Roundup
[ viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1279&p=2611&hilit=schmeiser#p2611 ]
Oscar
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Re: Monsanto, the court and the seeds of dissent

Postby Oscar » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:02 pm

Sorry, Monsanto: The Science Is on Our Side, Not Yours

[ http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/29899 ... -not-yours ]

Friday, 27 March 2015 10:41 By Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association | Op-Ed

EXCERPT:

Here are just a few examples of the latest reports, articles and books exposing the dangers of GMOs, Big Ag's toxic chemicals and evidence of a decades-long cover-up to keep consumers in the dark.

•New study: World Health Organization declares glyphosate a human carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) decision was reported in The Lancet Oncology, on Friday, March 20 (2015). Predictably, Monsanto went on the attack, demanding the study be retracted.

•New study: Roundup causes antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
In the first study of its kind, a research lead by a team from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand says that commonly used herbicides, including the world's most used herbicide Roundup, can cause bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics. Cause for concern? You bet, when nearly 2 million people die annually from antibiotic-resistant infections.

•New article: "GMO Science Deniers: Monsanto and the USDA," points out what we all learned in third-grade science (but what Monsanto and the USDA refuse to acknowledge): That plants evolve to adapt to their environment, with the stronger ones winning out. Hence the fact that over time, Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops have bred a new generation of superweeds. Yet, incredibly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) bought into Monsanto's anti-science claim that the continuous use of Roundup, over time, would not produce evolving Roundup-resistant weeds. Of course, that's exactly what's happened.

•New book: Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public, exposes how the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) disregarded the warnings of its own scientists in order to foster the biotech industry's agenda. According to author Steven Druker, the FDA broke U.S. food safety laws when the agency made a blanket presumption that GE foods qualified to be categorized "Generally Recognized as Safe" (GRAS). And they did it in order to push GMOs into the market with no pre-market safety testing.

•New book: Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA, written by a former (1979-2004) employee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), documents the EPA's "corruption and misuse of science and public trust." According to author E.G. Vallianatos, the EPA allowed our lands and waters to be poisoned with more toxic chemicals, including glyphosate, than ever, while turning a blind eye to the consequences.

•New report: "Seedy Business: What Big Food is hiding with Its Slick PR Campaign on GMOs," exposes Big Food's long history of manipulating the media, policymakers and public opinion with $100-million worth of sleazy public relations tactics.

That's just a smattering of the latest science—from scientists who have nothing to gain and everything to lose, based on Monsanto's history of aggressively discrediting and scientist who dares to challenge GMOs—that should have every consumer in this country asking, "What's going on here?"

Of course the industry response to the latest accusations concerning both its products and its desperate attempt to keep consumers in the dark, has been the same old same old: deny, deny, deny. All the while pretending to be incredulous that anyone would question its motives. This from an industry that (among other crimes) for nearly 40 years, knowingly poisoned a community in Alabama by dumping millions of pounds of PCBs into open-pit landfills, according to 2002 article that said:

And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents—many emblazoned with warnings such as "CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy"—show that for decades, the corporate giant concealed what it did and what it knew.

MORE:

[ http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/29899 ... -not-yours ]
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Re: Monsanto, the court and the seeds of dissent

Postby Oscar » Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:05 am

WATCH TRAILER: Neil Young and Monsanto Reignite War Over GMOs Since Release of ‘Seeding Fear’ - July 25, 2015 (10 min.)

[ http://ecowatch.com/2015/07/25/neil-you ... c-85909581 ]

Neil Young and Monsanto are once again trading barbs over genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This time, it’s over Young’s new documentary, “Seeding Fear,” the story of Alabama farmers Michael White and his father who were sued by the agrochemical giant in 2003 for patent infringement of its GM soybeans.

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