New threats by Monsanto to family farmers

<http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article#8357
headline:
Family Farm Defenders: Monsanto's failure to provide binding legal covenant to protect family farmers threatened by GMO contamination necessitates amended complaint 6/3/2011
NEW YORK - June 1, 2011 - New threats by Monsanto have led to the filing of an amended complaint [link] by the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) in its suit on behalf of family farmers, seed businesses, and organic agricultural organizations challenging Monsanto's patents on genetically modified seed. Twenty-three new plaintiffs have joined with the original 60 in the amended complaint, bringing the total number represented in the case to 83. The plaintiffs in the suit, titled Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA), et al. v. Monsanto and pending in the Southern District of New York, now include 36 family farmer, food, agricultural research, food safety, and environmental organizations representing hundreds of thousands of members including several thousand certified organic, biodynamic, or otherwise non-transgenic family farmers.
"Our clients don't want a fight with Monsanto, they just want to be protected from the threat they will be contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified seed and then be accused of patent infringement," said PUBPAT Executive Director Daniel B. Ravicher. "We asked Monsanto to give our clients reassurance they wouldn't do such a thing, and in responsethey chose instead to reiterate the same implicit threat to organic agriculture made in the past."
Soon after the March filing of the lawsuit, Monsanto issued a statement saying they would not assert their patents against farmers who suffer "trace" amounts of transgenic contamination. In response, and in the hope the matter could be resolved out of court, PUBPAT attorneys wrote Monsanto's attorneys asking the company to make its promise legally binding. Monsanto responded to PUBPAT's request by hiring former solicitor general, Seth P. Waxman, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of WilmerHale, who rejected PUBPAT's request and instead confirmed Monsanto may indeed make claims of patent infringement against organic farmers who become contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified seed. Copies of both letters are available as exhibits at the end of the amended complaint [link].
"Monsanto's letter was an empty, indefensible, and self-evident evasion showing theyare only interested in spinning propaganda without taking serious steps to resolve the problem created for organic and non-transgenic agriculture," said one of the co-plaintiffs in the suit, Don Patterson of Virginia. "With the Monsanto letter signed by Waxman, the company rolled out their biggest legal cannon, but they fired off only fluffy wadding and smoke," as he views it. "The letter shows Monsanto wanting to protect their freedom to threaten farmers with patent infringement suits," he states; "Both the threats and the lawsuits are clearly important to their marketing strategy and business model."
"Despite their empty propaganda to the contrary, they plainly do not want to give up these tactics," Patterson asserts. "Monsanto has collected multiple millions of dollars in settlements often from family farmers without the resources to defend themselves," he reports; "Too many have had to settle because they could not afford to fight."
"The serious issues being engaged in this case require a constructive and socially-acceptable response from the defendant in the public interest," adds Maine farmer Jim Gerritsen, President of OSGATA, the lead plaintiff in the suit. "In the absence of that, we reassert the essential importance of the arguments stated in March and reinforced now by the additional evidence of the Monsanto intransigence. Monsanto's utter failure to act reasonably to address our concerns has only reaffirmed the need for our lawsuit."
"We don't think we are asking too much to want assurance that if Monsanto's transgenic genes contaminate our crops we will not be sued by Monsanto," adds Iowa organic dairy farmer Francis Thicke, owner of plaintiff Radiance Dairy; "It is bad enough that we face the threat of contamination of our organic and non-transgenic crops. The least Monsanto can do is give us assurance that they won't sue us for their own genetic trespass."
The amended Complaint elaborates a fear tangibly vexing many family farmers: "Monsanto continued in the statement to perversely characterize this suit as an 'attack,' when Plaintiffs seek no money from and no injunction against them. All Plaintiffs seek is peace of mind if they are ever contaminated by Monsanto's transgenic seed, the company could never sue them for patent infringement. This is not an attack by the Plaintiffs and to characterize it that way only further evidences Monsanto's aggressive and threatening attitude with respect to its patents. Thus, the statement made by Monsanto in response to this suit has only served to heighten Plaintiff's fear that Monsanto will seek to enforce its patents against them should they ever be contaminated by Monsanto's transgenic seed ... (cont)
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A dissenting voice, Frank?
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On 06/03/2011 05:56 PM, Billy wrote:

Monsanto are a group of thugs, villains, and organized criminals legally sanctioned by corrupt government to destroy family farms and pollute the food supply with GMO crops.
Monsanto sends their Goons onto farms under cover of darkness to steal samples of crops contaminated by a neighbors use of GMO seed, then use it to extort everything they can get from the poor farmer, usually resulting in a multi generation farm being sold and the once proud family farmers having to work at menial jobs like McDonald's in order to survive. Government has passed a law saying that even home gardeners who buy seed can't legally save seed from what they've grown and plant it next year. In the future of our country companies like Monsanto will control the majority of the food Americans consume. Prices will continue to rise. As the smaller seed companies are taken over it gets more difficult to by seed not controlled by big business. Many people don't know and don't care what is happening right now because it doesn't personally affect them at this time. By the time people figure out what is happening America will experience a famine like Russia had in the 1920's where millions of people died while the rich and elite were happy and well fed. The United States sent food and seed to Russia helping them to survive. What country will do that for US?
When we stand by and do nothing while good farmers are forced out of business by corrupt companies and cross-contamination, consumers will suddenly realize their options to feed their family are dwindling, controlled by companies who will squeeze every penny they can from consumers, with no concern how it destroys our lives and country. When government cares more about corporations than lives of citizens our American way of life we love so much will be lost.
Look at countries where Americans are losing their lives trying to make the world a better place, where governments only care about the rich and elite, citizens are starving and scrounging to survive, that will be our fate. The United States will be brought down from within, just like the Communist predicted.
American Farmer
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Check out the Facebook group, "Millions Against Monsanto" at https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid "09163750
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