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Farmer''s lawsuit

Farmers' lawsuit against Monsanto headed to U.S. Supreme Court

Thursday, September 19, 2013 by: Rebecca Winters
Tags: farmer''s lawsuit, Monsanto, U.S. Supreme Court

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(NaturalNews) A lawsuit challenging biotech giant Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) seed patents is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The St. Louis-based chemical company, known for its Round-up glyphosate herbicide and the patented GM crops bred to withstand glyphosate use or to create their own pesticides (or both), has already filed more than 130 lawsuits involving some 400 farmers and over 50 small businesses for patent infringement when these seeds have been found contaminating their fields.

Seventy-three organic and conventional family farmers, public advocacy groups and seed companies have joined the lawsuit against Monsanto in an attempt to block the company from suing them when these biotech crop seeds inadvertently contaminate their farms. Monsanto insists the lawsuit has no merit and is creating controversy for no reason; the company has reportedly promised not to sue unless its patented seed technology is used without paying royalties.

While Monsanto is busy making promises not to sue farmers who cannot help it if these seeds contaminate their fields, the company's legacy of broken promises speaks for itself.

More than 300 million acres of Monsanto's GM crops are planted worldwide every year. Even though Monsanto and other biotech companies have promised these new science experiments would offer greater food yields requiring less herbicides, neither has been the case in reality.

GM crops, even those genetically engineered to withstand drought, have not been found to produce higher food yields or the same with fewer input than traditional crops. Further, studies like this one in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe have shown that so-called herbicide-resistant seed technology has actually led to a more than 500-million-pound increase in herbicide use just in the U.S. alone between 1996 and 2011. Pesticide usage in that time period increased 7% overall and it just keeps climbing.

In the years since GM seed use has spread throughout the world, we have witnessed the rise of superbugs and superweeds - pests and weeds that have grown resistant to Monsanto's agricultural chemicals. Farmers who plant GM crops are actually riding what has been dubbed a "chemical treadmill," as their fields require more and more pesticides and herbicides to yield the same number of crops. These glyphosate-tolerant superweeds have already been identified in 22 states, and according to the Pesticide Action Network, they are spreading at an alarming rate - from 32.6 million acres in 2010 to 61.2 million acres in 2012.

More and more farmers are finding it tough to even grow non-GM crops at this point. With the ubiquitous use of Monsanto's patented seed technology, conventional seed prices are rising. More farmers are reporting their fields becoming contaminated with GM crops. Farmer Rodney Nelson explained how growing non-GM crops became impossible for him: "It was getting down to the point where about 50 percent of our loads were being rejected because of contamination, and we couldn't buy seed that was pure without contamination."

As NaturalNews has previously reported, Monsanto's goal appears to be to convert every farmer to Roundup Ready crops while contaminating all conventional crops and buying out all the non-GM seed companies to ultimately control the global agriculture market.

It is precisely for this reason that more than 800 scientists from all over the world have written an open letter affirming that GM crops are nothing short of a biowar against the global food supply.

Monsanto has set aside $10 million annually and a staff of 75 employees for the sole purpose of investigating some 500 farmers a year and prosecuting for patent infringement. While Monsanto claims it has no history of suing farmers whose fields are unknowingly contaminated with its GM seeds, the path of financial destruction and bankrupted family farms left in the biotech giant's wake says otherwise.

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