(NaturalNews) Asheville, N.C.-based Sow True Seed, a seed company that offers non-GMO, non-hybrid, and open-pollinated varieties of heirloom, organic, and traditional seeds, has joined a class-action lawsuit against biotechnology giant Monsanto that seeks protection for farmers against predatory patent lawsuits. On January 31, 2012, Federal Court Judge Naomi Buchwald from the Southern District of New York held a preliminary hearing of the case to decide if it will move forward, which was joined by hundreds of supporters who held a rally in Foley Square located just across the street from the Manhattan courthouse.
Filed by the Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association (OSGTA) on behalf of more than 300,000 organic and non-GMO farmers, the lawsuit addresses an important issue for which few people are aware. Besides polluting the environment with toxic herbicides and tainting the food supply with untested genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), the Monsanto Co. has a history of actually suing non-GMO and organic farmers whose crops have become contaminated with genetically-altered materials for supposed patent infringement.
"Monsanto has a monopoly over crops and over seed. And currently as the law exists, Monsanto can actually sue family farmers," said Kristen Wartman, co-founder of Occupy Big Food, in a recent documentary short put together by the GRACE Communications Foundation.
"If their seed, which is genetically-modified, and if the pollen from that seed drifts on the family farmers' crops, and then pollinates their seed, Monsanto can then go ahead and sue these family farmers for patent infringement. So this (lawsuit) is just basically so family farmers can protect their own livelihood and their own crops from Monsanto."
Judge Buchwald is expected to make her decision on whether or not to allow the case to proceed within the next few months. In the meantime, advocates of food freedom who recognize Monsanto's obvious and deliberate efforts to seize the entire food supply by force will continue to educate the public about the dangers associated with GMOs, and push for the passage of GMO labeling initiatives like the one currently moving forward in California (http://www.naturalnews.com/GMO_labeling.html).
"The petition gives a voice to the overwhelming majority of people who support mandatory labeling of genetically modified ingredients in our food," said Cathryn Zommer from Sow True Seed to Mountain Xpress concerning her company's petition for GMO-free agricultural zones to be established in Western North Carolina.
"Unlabeled and untested, pollen drifting from GE crops is a threat to the integrity of organic and non-genetically modified crops. This is in direct conflict with our right to produce and consume pure, natural food."