Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto

A collection of organic farmers across the country has joined a class-action lawsuit against agricultural giant Monsanto to protect their produce from contamination.

Monsanto, a multination agricultural biotechnical corporation, is the leading producer of genetically modified seed. The Monsanto Corporation provides 90 percent of the genetically modified seed sold in the United States.

Over the past several years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has given the green light for the use and sale of genetically modified seed. Part and parcel to Monsanto’s sale of modified crops is their aggressive defense of their patented genetic material.

Since the mid-2000s, Monsanto has sued farmers for using their genetically modified seed, even when those farmers are unaware of what they are planting. In 2007, for example, Monsanto sued an Indiana farmer for planting and saving seeds containing Monsanto’s patented genetic material, even though that farmer obtained the seeds in a mix of commodity seeds, which require no licensing agreement.

A group of organic farmers last year accused the agricultural giant of suppressing organic farming. The company goes too far in their lawsuits, they argue, claiming that farmers have been sued when Monsanto crops contaminate neighboring farms. A class action lawsuit filed by The Organic Seed Grower Association against Monsanto seeks to limit the power of biotech companies from suing farmers who find their crops cross-contaminated. The lawsuit begins next week.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer