Monsanto drags over 400 U.S. farmers to court over GM seed patents
When will Big Ag’s corrupt reign end?
J. D. Heyes
Feb 24, 2013
Agri-giant Monsanto, not satisfied with being one of the world’s largest agricultural corporations, is dragging hundreds of U.S. farmers into court over alleged copyright violations for repeated usage of the company’s patented seeds.
In a case that has surprised a lot of observers, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear one of these complaints on Feb. 19. That case, Bowman v. Monsanto Co., was billed as a landmark battle pitting farmer Vernon Bowman against the international Ag-giant over the former’s repeated use of seeds he bought from Monsanto which the company says are only supposed to be used for one growing season.
In advance of the case, The Huffington Post reported, the Center for Food Safety and the Save Our Seeds campaigning organizations released a report detailing similar cases.
Price of seeds have skyrocketed
According to that report titled “Seed Giants vs. U.S. Farmers,” which readers can view here, Monsanto alleges seed patent infringement in 144 lawsuits against 410 farmers and 56 small farm businesses in at least 27 states, as of January of this year.
Combined, Monsanto, Syngenta and DuPont hold more than half – 53 percent – of the global commercial seed market, which the groups claim in their report has led to a massive increase in the price of seed: Between 1995 and 2011, the groups say the average cost of planting a single acre of soybeans rose a whopping 325 percent, while corn seed prices climbed a staggering259 percent.