David vs. Monsanto

Monsanto’s busy lawyers

Last Monday the US Supreme Court found in favour of Monsanto over yet another small farmer. Indiana soybean farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman bought some seeds from a grain company, where other farmers drop off their seed. He only wanted to sow cheap seed so bought what he called ‘junk grain’. It was a mixture of whatever grain had been dropped off at the store but some was Monsanto Roundup Ready Soybean.

Bowman’s lawyer argued that Bowman acquired the Monsanto seeds innocently enough and that his small operation never would threaten the company’s monopoly. But Monsanto won, winning a settlement of $84,456 for infringing Monsanto’s patent rights.

This is yet another demonstration of Monsanto’s determination to squash any small farmer that doesn’t sign up to their way of doing things.

What got him into hot water was that he saved seed from this ‘junk grain’ to plant again next season. Monstanto want to hold rights to generations of seeds forever, and we think that’s wrong.

We can avoid this happening to New Zealand farmers

By not allowing the growing of GE crops here we can ensure that New Zealand farmers aren’t exposed to risk of legal action from Monsanto on these types of issues.

But we can do more. I am gathering support for my amendment to the Patents Bill currently moving through Parliament. This amendment clarifies that patents must not be held over life.

We can all take action against Monsanto

On the 25th of May there is a global action to march against Monsanto.

There are already events organised around the New Zealand, join them or organise a march in your city.
Auckland 

Christchurch

Wellington

New Plymouth

Nelson

Rotorua

9 thoughts on “David vs. Monsanto

  1. Steffan says “Monstanto want to hold rights to generations of seeds forever, and we think that’s wrong.”

    So how long are the patents?

    (many of Monsanto’s seeds start coming off patent next year)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8 (-8)

  2. The event links are links to facebook.

    My personal firewall blocks facebook. These events are currently unavailable to me.

    Photonz1, Monsanto may be trying to extend its control with contractual agreements and by hoovering up all contracted copies of the construct.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 (+3)

  3. This new E.U. law that only Government-certified seeds are allowed to be planted, means that you could end up in prison if you planted some of your old seeds….
    Particularly devastating for small growers who live off their crops..
    What will Monsanto do next (aided by several Republican senators who are on their Board..

    It’s not only seeds and plants; news item from my brother overseas that 35GM babies – yes, babies – have been born in the States! Some of them already three years old. Made from genes from two different mothers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  4. Hi this is just an announcement of the Christchurch March Against Monsanto.

    Assemble at Deans Av./Riccarton Rd.Roundabout and march to the Bridge of Remembrance.

    Saturday May 25th at 3pm.

    This demonstration will be held globally so please pass on. You can also get more details on Facebook.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 (+3)

  5. Photonz – The ACTIONS of Monsanto tell you all you need to know about what this company wants to do to the farmers and citizens of the world. The private enterprise fantasyland of the right wing has no place for humans, or honesty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 (+5)

  6. Sorry I won’t do facebook. Are the details on a reputable site somewhere?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  7. I couldn’t comment on the merits of the legal case, but:

    By not allowing the growing of GE crops here we can ensure that New Zealand farmers aren’t exposed to risk of legal action from Monsanto on these types of issues.

    If allegedly frivolous legal action is the problem (and I’d accept it likely exists whether this is an example of it or not), would it not be more appropriate to ensure New Zealand’s patent laws are designed so that it can’t happen, rather than ruling out arguably useful innovations, whether international corporate or not, with a broadsword approach?

    I like a lot of the Green Party’s policies, but the whole blanket paranoia around GE is something I’ve never been able to understand or accept.

    Obviously genetic engineering can have problems. It’d be tough to argue that there aren’t major commercially-driven cases out there where it’s being used for more harm than good. Still, I’d much rather have policies which enable scientists to carry out good science and make use of useful stuff where it’s warranted. Instead it seems the Green Party would rather push a policy that blanket-suppresses the use of stuff that could be very positive and useful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 (-1)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>