Monsanto secures victory over organic farmers
An appeals court ruling handed down Monday is being largely viewed as yet another victory for biotech giant Monsanto.
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled this week that an earlier ruling favoring Monsanto would stay intact, despite mounting concerns voiced by farmers and agriculturists bothered by the biotech company’s reputation for litigation.
The plaintiffs in the case — dozens of independent and small time crop growers — filed a lawsuit in March 2011 in hopes of having a federal court protect them against any future claims courtesy of Monsanto. The St. Louis-based biotech company has pursued more than 800 patent infringement cases at a cost of around $10 million a year, often bankrupting farmers because their fields are found to contain traces of genetically-modified or –engineered seeds and crops patented by Monsanto. Those plants, “Roundup Ready” crops, are made to withstand exposure to the Roundup weed killer made and marketed by Monsanto. The Southern District of New York previously ruled that it could not force Monsanto to guarantee it won’t file future claims against farmers found to have trace amounts of GMO seeds in their fields, and this week a federal appeals panel upheld that decision.