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Supreme Court siding with Monsanto in GMO seed patent case


Monsanto seeds

(NaturalNews) An Indiana farmer who became a target of Monsanto after he deviated from the corporate monolith's sketchy seed patent scheme may not get the support of the U.S. Supreme Court as many of his supporters had hoped. As reported by The Register-Guard, the Supreme Court appears as though it will eventually side with Monsanto on the issue rather than Vernon Hugh Bowman, who purchased discount soybean seeds from a grain elevator rather than directly from Monsanto.

As we covered here at Natural News last fall, Bowman found himself embroiled in a lawsuit after he picked up some extra soybean seeds from a nearby grain elevator for a late-season planting on his farm. Monsanto alleges that the 74-year-old man made an unauthorized purchase of patent-protected seeds without the biotechnology company's permission, but Bowman insists he purchased the seeds legally of his own accord.

What apparently happened is that, prior to the second seed planting, a significant portion of Bowman's farm had already contained Monsanto's patent-protected, Roundup-Ready soybean crop grown from seed stock that had come directly from Monsanto. After planting the second installment, the existing Roundup-Ready soybean crops contaminated the new soybean crops, which prompted Monsanto's high-paid attorneys to pursue Bowman for alleged patent infringement.

Back in 2009, Bowman was ordered to pay Monsanto $84,000 for supposed damages and court fees, but Bowman contested the ruling. Now, the Supreme Court will have the historic opportunity to decide whether or not indefinite patent protection of second-generation biotech seeds is legal, which will in turn set a precedent for how all future cases of seed trait contamination and patented seed reuse are handled.

But as it is currently looking, the Supreme Court seems to be cozying up to Monsanto's position on the matter. Chief Justice John Roberts, who last summer was confirmed to have flip-flopped on his support for Obamacare, is quoted by The Register-Guard as sympathizing with Monsanto, stating "why in the world would anybody" invest time and money on seeds if it was so easy to evade patent protection?

But as correctly pointed out by Bowman's lawyer, Monsanto's entire business model forces farmers to assume all the risks associated with farming while it maintains complete control over how its seeds are used. All Bowman was doing, after all, was hedging his investment -- his primary seeds for planting came directly from Monsanto, while his backups were obtained from the grain elevator.

According to reports, the Obama administration, which is heavily stocked with biotechnology industry goons, is also backing Monsanto rather than Bowman.

You can follow the status of the case, known as Bowman v. Monsanto Co., here:
http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/bowman-v-monsanto-co/

Sources for this article include:

http://www.registerguard.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

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