Monsanto

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http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/business/6768757.html
AP INVESTIGATION: Monsanto seed biz role revealed
By CHRISTOPHER LEONARD AP Agribusiness Writer © 2009 The Associated Press Dec. 13, 2009, 11:54PM ST. LOUIS ‹ Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto Co.'s business practices reveal how the world's biggest seed developer is squeezing competitors, controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its dominance over the multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered crops, an Associated Press investigation has found.
With Monsanto's patented genes being inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S., the company also is using its wide reach to control the ability of new biotech firms to get wide distribution for their products, according to a review of several Monsanto licensing agreements and dozens of interviews with seed industry participants, agriculture and legal experts.
Declining competition in the seed business could lead to price hikes that ripple out to every family's dinner table. That's because the corn flakes you had for breakfast, soda you drank at lunch and beef stew you ate for dinner likely were produced from crops grown with Monsanto's patented genes.
Monsanto's methods are spelled out in a series of confidential commercial licensing agreements obtained by the AP. The contracts, as long as 30 pages, include basic terms for the selling of engineered crops resistant to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, along with shorter supplementary agreements that address new Monsanto traits or other contract amendments.
. . .
Since GMOs don't produce larger or healthier crops, the above is a reminder of why we should be growing heirloom crops (open pollinated).
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The real problem is that when you grow your open pollinated corn downwind of the frankinstein corn, your seed becomes tainted. You should be able to sue Monsanto for damages. Just my $.02 worth, Steve

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You've got it backwards. You'll get sued for having Monsanto's patented genes in your crop. I'm not making this up. Google "Percy Schmeiser."
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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Gary Woods wrote:

You are correct that the law is like that. Steve is correct that it ought not to be.
David
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Planting non-Monsanto, non-GMO but open-pollinated crops will make you a revolutionary, struggling against the tyranny of Monsanto. Save seeds.
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Pssst!
seedsavers.org
Double-sekrit meeting next July.
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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wrote:

Just curious to know if you have ever read the Court decisions ?
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gunner wrote:

Not in the original but my understanding is that Schmeiser was found to have infringed Monsanto's patent by knowingly growing GM plants without paying monsanto's license. Is that right?
David
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Schmeiser claims his crop (from which he has always saved seed) was cross-pollinated by nearby Monsanto GMO plantings. Monsanto claimed there was too much of the genetic material to not be a direct descendent of their plants. The court ruled (though I don't have and probably wouldn't grok the actual ruling) in their favor.
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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Want to go messin' up a nice clean narrative, huh? Well, I kicked the topic around with a couple of biologists and they thought that GMO soy would have been pretty hard not to recognize, so Schmeiser may have known that he had something different. Did he knowingly plant GMO soy? He is known to be a seed saver, so there is the possibility that his field was cross pollinated by someone else's GMO crop. Apparently, ownership follows the patented genes. If the genes show up in you, for example, you would be, technically, the property of the Monsanto Corporation. It just gets curiouser and curiouser, here in the rabbit hole.
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The case that I heard about (at the Seed Saver's meet a few years ago) was canola aka rape, rather than soy. Schmeiser claimed that he did indeed save seeds, but they were from his fields, and if GMO markers were there, it was cross-contamination and not his fault. What really needs to be decided is if anybody owns those genes once they escape into the wild. Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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I sit corrected, canola it is ;O)
The courts have ruled that if your seeds have the Monsanto added genetic material, they are Monsanto's property. If Round up ready corn pollutes traditional Mexican corn, the corn belongs to Monsanto. End of story.
(Rant Mode Engaged) The jury may be out on glyphosate as an environmental contaminant but that it it leads to under-productive monocultures that require more and more of the herbicide to suppress increasingly resistant weeds, that the Cabbage Mosaic Virus inserted with altering DNA has the ability to turn on dormant genes, and that "spliceosomes" mistake alien transfer-RNA for more familiar encoded amino acids, and produce unique proteins (re: allergens) are not in doubt.
That our "new" war mongering President appointed a GMO enthusiast as Secretary of Agriculture will give you an idea of our problems.
http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------
VILSACK, GROSS WEIGH IN ON BIOTECH DECISION
DES MOINES, Iowa - Gov. Tom Vilsack was cited as writing in a letter to the Biotechnology Industry Organization that a decision by a biotechnical industry group not to grow genetically engineered corn for pharmaceutical purposes in states such as Iowa is "a dangerous precedent," adding that "I feel this decision by for a pharma-crop ban is a knee-jerk reaction that is not fully warranted by the scientific evidence." BIO was cited as saying this week that its members had agreed not to grow pharmaceutical crops in states where it could contaminate neighboring crops intended for human consumption. That includes Iowa, and Vilsack reacted quickly, dashing off a letter asking the group for a clarification of its policy. Vilsack was quoted as saying, "I support food safety and security, but this decision appears to be overreaching. It seems more like an effort to exclude the nation's most productive farmers, small businesses and university researchers from this emerging industry." Vilsack has said the state could have a bright future in developing genetically engineered crops for the pharmaceutical industry.
------
At least when there was a Republican in the White House, it was easy to know who the bad guys were.
Our "Robber Barons" just up graded their flak and you can be sure that all that will come out of health care reform is mandatory insurance coverage, and a lack of interest on the part of the citizens to revisit the problem anytime soon.
(Rant Mode Disengaged)
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wrote:

yes.
Where is the case law on this?
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wrote:

Yes, in the broad sense. My question was actually for Gary and Steve, David. Your response was very accurate. I just assumed you had read them.
Federal Court Trial decision: http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/en/2001/2001fct256/2001fct256.html
Supreme Court of Canada's decision: http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/2004/2004scc34/2004scc34.html
As you said, it is established Case law in both the US and Canada. When you don't have a license to use a patent, you run the risk of being sued.
There is a lot of hyperbole about ole Percy, which is understandably a part of the "he said, she said" of any legal dispute. Regardless of his being an upright citizen, the many "case summaries" on the Internet and here do not jibe with the actual courts records.
The Federal Court outlining Mr. Schmeiser's farming practices is an interesting read. However, one could just read the salient points from the CA Supreme Court Document and then follow the arguments to get a good understanding of the issues. I encourage all to read both of them in their entirety (one pagers). Here are some excerpts for those who want just a Reader's Digest version:
The Supreme Court of Canada's decision:
6 Schmeiser never purchased Roundup Ready Canola nor did he obtain a licence to plant it. Yet, in 1998, tests revealed that 95 to 98 percent of his 1,000 acres of canola crop was made up of Roundup Ready plants. The origin of the plants is unclear. They may have been derived from Roundup Ready seed that blew onto or near Schmeiser's land, and was then collected from plants that survived after Schmeiser sprayed Roundup herbicide around the power poles and in the ditches along the roadway bordering four of his fields. The fact that these plants survived the spraying indicated that they contained the patented gene and cell. The trial judge found that "none of the suggested sources [proposed by Schmeiser] could reasonably explain the concentration or extent of Roundup Ready canola of a commercial quality" ultimately present in Schmeiser's crop ((2001), 202 F.T.R. 78, at para. 118).
87 However, the appellants in this case actively cultivated canola containing the patented invention as part of their business operations. Mr. Schmeiser complained that the original plants came onto his land without his intervention. However, he did not at all explain why he sprayed Roundup to isolate the Roundup Ready plants he found on his land; why he then harvested the plants and segregated the seeds, saved them, and kept them for seed; why he next planted them; and why, through this husbandry, he ended up with 1030 acres of Roundup Ready Canola which would otherwise have cost him $15,000. In these circumstances, the presumption of use flowing from possession stands unrebutted.
96 The appellants argue, finally, that Monsanto's activities tread on the ancient common law property rights of farmers to keep that which comes onto their land. Just as a farmer owns the progeny of a "stray bull" which wanders onto his land, so Mr. Schmeiser argues he owns the progeny of the Roundup Ready Canola that came onto his field. However, the issue is not property rights, but patent protection. Ownership is no defence to a breach of the Patent Act.
I would not think Ole Percy's argument is a cause celebre for the Eco argument, regardless of how the issue is spun.
As for the business practice, yes that will have to be addressed. I suspect by the courts or a change in the law. That was a slick trick to openly license to so many researchers thereby prohibiting further use. Still, the issues need to be defined, not speculated on as shoulda, coulda, maybe.
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wrote:

It's my understanding that Schmeiser changed crops and when he was unable to control the weeds (read Monsanto rape plants) sued Monsanto and won. Steve
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wrote:

Percy lost his 2001 Federal trial and the 2004 Appeal because he infringed on patent rights. He was afforded some relief in that lawsuit from paying "Usage" damages in that round.
I understand in 2008, Percy asked Monsanto to clear his land of RR plants but did not want to sign a clause in Monsanto's Volunteer Plant removal program so he sued for 10m$ (CA).
I believe Percy settled out of court for ~600$ and a no gag order.
I do not know of the actual clause Percy objected to. My Internet is not accessing certain servers this morning for some odd reason, but I will try to find and read it.
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wrote:

I'm vehemently against GMO as a business model. The potential of Monsanto to control the world seed market terrifies me. The potential for disease in a (genetic) monoculture is equally frightening.
But I believe Mr. Schmeiser gamed the system and is the last person who should be held up as a victim.
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I totally agree with everything you said. I am not against GMO research, natural or otherwise, My fear is about anyone having control of the world's seed or crop market.
Back to the original post and rants, we will have to see what the"" "new" war mongering President appointed GMO enthusiast "" will do with/after the DOJ investigation.
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Owning "life-forms" is gaming the system, in my opinion. If farmers can't control the pollen from their plants, so that it infests or pollutes a neighbor's seed, THEY should be held liable.
GMOs don't produce more nutritious crops, or larger crops. They simply allow greater contamination of the soil, and in turn promote herbicide resistant weeds. In turn these crops are the most subsidized, and their cheap price results in them being turned into what we call "junk food" because they provide empty calories, devoid of nutrition. Moreover, there are many people who are concerned about their impact on human health.
Schmeiser was only continuing a traditional process of selecting seeds.
Bad laws make bad citizens
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wrote:

C'mon Billy, he purposely isolated RoundUp Ready plants and saved the seed. I have no _intention_ of siding with Monsanto on _anything_, but this guy is no victim. He knew exactly what he was doing.
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