American Farmers Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court to Seek Protection from Genetic Contamination and Invalidate Monsanto's Patents on Genetically Engineered Crops
New York – September 5, 2013 – A group of 73 American organic and conventional family farmers, seed businesses and public advocacy groups asked the U.S. Supreme Court today to hear their case against Monsanto Company challenging the chemical and biotech seed giant’s patents on genetically engineered seed. In Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto, the plaintiffs have been forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should their fields ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically engineered seed, something Monsanto has done to others in the past.
In a June 10th ruling earlier this year, a three-judge panel at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that a group of organic and otherwise non-GMO farmer and seed company plaintiffs are not entitled to bring a lawsuit to protect themselves from Monsanto's transgenic seed patents "because Monsanto has made binding assurances that it will not 'take legal action against growers whose crops might inadvertently contain traces of Monsanto biotech genes (because, for example, some transgenic seed or pollen blew onto the grower's land).'"
"While the Court of Appeals correctly found that the farmers and seed sellers had standing to challenge Monsanto's invalid patents, it incorrectly found that statements made by Monsanto's lawyers during the lawsuit mooted the case," said Daniel Ravicher, Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) and lead counsel to the plaintiffs in OSGATA et al v. Monsanto. "As a result, we have asked the Supreme Court to take the case and reinstate the right of the plaintiffs to seek full protection from Monsanto's invalid transgenic seed patents."
The Petition filed today by lawyers for the family farmers may be found here.
The plaintiffs brought the pre-emptive case against Monsanto in March 2011 and specifically seek to defend themselves from nearly two dozen of Monsanto's most aggressively asserted patents on GMO seed. They were forced to act pre-emptively to protect themselves from Monsanto's abusive lawsuits, fearing that if GMO seed contaminates their property despite their efforts to prevent such contamination, Monsanto will sue them for patent infringement.
“We have been farming for almost forty years and we have never wanted anything to do with Monsanto,” said Jim Gerritsen, an organic seed farmer in Maine and President of lead Plaintiff OSGATA. “We believe we have the right to farm and grow good food the way we choose. We don’t think it’s fair that Monsanto can trespass onto our farm, contaminate and ruin our crops and then sue us for infringing on their patent rights. We don’t want one penny from Monsanto. American farmers deserve their day in Court so we can prove to the world Monsanto’s genetically engineered patents are invalid and that family farmers deserve protection from Monsanto’s abuse.”...
OSGATA et al v. Monsanto Press Releases
- American Farmers Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court to Seek Protection from Genetic Contamination And Invalidate Monsantos Patents on Genetically Engineered Crops.
- Appeals Court Binds Monsanto To Promise Not To Sue Organic Farmers. (06/13/13)
- Maine Seed Potato Farmer Keynotes Oregon Environmental Law Conference. (02/25/13)
- Farmers Join Hundreds to Protest Outside Monsanto Hearing and Demand End to Monsanto's Campaign of Intimidation in Rural America Over GMOs. (01/10/13)
- Family Farmers travel to Washington D.C. to Take on Monsanto (01/04/13)
- OSGATA et al v. MONSANTO ORAL ARGUMENT SLATED FOR JANUARY 10, 2013 (11/23/12)
- OSGATA Responds to Flawed NPR Article on GMOs (10/18/12)
- Maine Farmer to Speak in New York City (10/12/12)
- Landmark Family Farmers Lawsuit Grows (07/17/12)
- Farmers and organizations file brief for Appellate Court today. (07/05/12)
- Aroostook Farmer Featured Speaker At Maine's Urban Earth Day (04/17/12)
- Organic Farmers File Appeal in OSGATA v. Monsanto (Press Release (03/28/12)
- Maine Farmer to Explain Organic Lawsuit Against Monsanto on Maine Watch (03/05/12)
- Judge Ridicules Farmers' Right to Grow Food Wihout Fear, Contamination and Economic Harm (02/27/12)
- OSGATA v. Monsanto: Will Family Farmers Recieve Justice? (02/02/12)
- A Citizen's Assembly in Support For Family Farmers vs. Monsanto. (01/16/12)
- Update: Judge Orders Oral Argument On Monsanto Motion to Dismiss (12/30/11)
- Update: Organic Family Farmers Defend Their Right to Protect Themselves From Monsanto Patents. (08/12/11)
- Family Farmers Amplify Complaint Against Monsanto's GMOs (06/01/11)
- Organic Farmers and Seed Sellers Sue Monsanto To Protect Themselves From Patents On Genetically Modified Seed (03/29/11)
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