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Monsanto heads to Supreme Court

quote:
A 75-year-old Indiana grain farmer will take on global seed giant Monsanto Co at the U.S. Supreme Court next week in a patent battle that could have ramifications for the biotechnology industry and possibly the future of food production.

The highest court in the United States will hear arguments on Tuesday in the dispute, which started when soybean farmer Vernon Bowman bought and planted a mix of unmarked grain typically used for animal feed. The plants that grew turned out to contain the popular herbicide-resistant genetic trait known as Roundup Ready that Monsanto guards closely with patents.

The St. Louis, Mo.-based biotech giant accused Bowman of infringing its patents by growing plants that contained its genetics. But Bowman, who grows wheat and corn along with soybeans on about 300 acres inherited from his father, argued that he used second-generation grain and not the original seeds covered by Monsanto's patents.


further down in the article...

quote:
"Through a patenting system that favors the rights of corporations over the rights of farmers and citizens, our food and farming system is being held hostage by a handful of companies," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, one of the groups supporting Bowman. "Nothing less than the future of food is at stake."


http://news.yahoo.com/u-agricu...928917--finance.html
 

___________________________________________________

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence."  David Ben-Gurion

 

S.W. Ga., zone 8b but acts more like zone 9

I must be missing something:

Why isn't Monsanto going to court against the guy who grew, saved seed and sold it?

The farmer in this article didn't know it was patented albiet second generation seed. It was not marked. He's not to blame.

But the guy who grew the original seed and saved and resold is at fought.

Best we can hope for is that no more farmers will try to save the seed and spread it around to others at a cheaper price, and making the seed even more widespread.

Or am I missing something?
 
MARYLAND zone 6
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Lisaann, to answer your question, the place he purchased his seed was not selling it as such. They were marketing it as livestock feed, which is entirely legal.

I think a major question, which the article does not address, is whether Mr. Bowman used glyphosate on the plants in question. If he was doing so, and thereby utilizing Monsanto's patented technology, it seems like it would be obviously a case of infringement. If he was managing them as though they did not have the patented genes, that is a different story.
 

North Central Illinios

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Okay, I think I got it now. He should have just fed his seeds to the chickens? You can sell the second generation seed for feed, but not to plant. Okay, thanks. That bag should have said DO NOT PLANT THIS SEED IN THE GROUND.
 
MARYLAND zone 6
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The thing is, there is no tracking system to identify whether feed grains are gmo or not. If I buy grain from a feed store, there is no way of knowing what sort of variety you are getting. Unless the feed store was promoting their grain as "guaranteed to be round-up ready," none of the fault lies on them.
 

North Central Illinios

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"For years, Bowman would grow a first crop of Monsanto seed, which he would purchase legally, and then would buy some commodity seed from his local grain elevator for his second crop. While aware he could not save seeds from the first crop he grew, Bowman would later plant the commodity seeds, spray the plants with Roundup, and was then able to identify which were resistant to the herbicide when they didn’t die. Bowman saved those seeds and saved money, since he had bought the commodity seeds for his second crop at a steep discount without paying Monsanto or signing its licensing agreement."
http://grist.org/food/seeding-...s-the-supreme-court/

It appears that he was sorting out the roundup ready plants and then saving his own seed from those plants.
 

North Central Illinios

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The issue the court will be deciding in this case will have a big impact on many industries and technologies. They will basically be setting case presidence as to when patent protection is exhausted on self-replicating technology. This will effect biomedical research (stem cell research, modified live virus vaccines,modified bacteria research ect.)it can effect computer software manufactures, seed breeders, just to name a few. They'll have to be real careful with this.
 
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It seems like he was deliberately fishing for the Mosanto genes. He was spraying the plants with Roundup, not to kill weeds, but to sort out the Monsanto plants. If this had been a case of wind pollinating his crops with Monsanto genes, then I would be with him, but this seems a deliberate attempt to get their seed without paying.
 

Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 16 little gardeners: what a harvest!

Zone 7a, Far Rockaway, New York

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There are many innocent farmers whose crops have been cross contaminated by wind that Monsanto sued. While I don't agree with the tactics, it looks like this farmer is making a statement.
 
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