Farmers Fail At Suing Monsanto Before Monsanto Sues Them

Seed industry titan Monsanto is infamous for its patent infringement lawsuits against farmers for allegedly using its proprietary seeds without paying. Defendants often claim that Monsanto seeds are so prevalent that crops can’t help but become contaminated. And some farmers say they have stopped growing certain crops out of fear that they may someday be sued.

In an attempt to put an end to these suits, a group of organic farmers tried their own suit to preemptively stop Monsanto from suing them in case of accidental contamination. Alas, the judge in the case doesn’t see the sense in this and has dismissed the complaint.

In her dismissal of the case, the U.S. District Court Judge explains that Monsanto would have no reason to sue organic farmers because such businesses would have no interest in using genetically modified seed to begin with.

“Even were there credible threats of suit from defendants, there is no evidence that plaintiffs are infringing defendants’ patents, nor have plaintiffs suggested when, if ever, such infringement will occur,” she wrote in her ruling.

“Her decision to deny farmers the right to seek legal protection from one of the world’s foremost patent bullies is gravely disappointing,” said the plaintiff’s lead attorney. “Her belief that farmers are acting unreasonable when they stop growing certain crops to avoid being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement should their crops become contaminated maligns the intelligence and integrity of those farmers.”

Monsanto is just fine with the ruling, and it believes that everyone else should be happy about it too.

“This decision is a win for all farmers as it underscores that agricultural practices such as ag biotechnology, organic and conventional systems do and will continue to effectively coexist in the agricultural marketplace,” said the company’s general counsel. “This ruling tore down a historic myth, which is commonly perpetuated against our business by these plaintiffs and other parties through the internet, noting that not only were such claims unsubstantiated but, more importantly, they were unjustified.”

Monsanto prevails in suit brought by organic growers [Reuters]

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  1. MutantMonkey says:

    I imagine this is how the after hearing party went with the Monsanto tribe: http://static.globalgrind.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/article_images/images/2011_november/laughing.jpg

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    “In her dismissal of the case, the U.S. District Court Judge explains that Monsanto would have no reason to sue organic farmers because such businesses would have no interest in using genetically modified seed to begin with.”

    And of course, the real estate market was going to go up FOREVER!!!

    • Necoras says:

      Well, she’s correct in that most organic farmers don’t want to use GM crops. The issue historically is that farmers have no desire to use Monsanto’s patented seeds, but it becomes almost impossible not to.

      Assume I have an organic field of non GM crops right next to your field of Monsanto(TM) brand SUPER GM crops. The bees who are pollinating all of our plants don’t care where the seeds came from; they just want their nectar. If I replant my field next year from the seeds that were cross pollinated with your crops, I’ll eventually get some of your SUPER crop genes in my crop.

      What happens is that Monsanto keeps track of where they’ve sold their seeds, and then after a few years they’ll go to all of the surrounding seeds, do genetic testing, and find their patented genes in the “organic” crop. They then sue all of the organic farmers, who go bankrupt through no fault of their own.

      • who? says:

        That’s exactly what has been happening, and what the farmers are afraid of. Monsanto *does* sue everybody who grows soybeans that isn’t buying seeds from them, because the farmer’s field will get contaminated with Monsanto genes, and the farmer is then violating Monsanto’s patent anytime they reuse seeds. Monsanto isn’t trying to actually win the lawsuits, just bully the farmers into either buying seeds from them or selling out. Patent trolling at its finest.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        Nailed it. Thumbs up!

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

        Any proof of cases where this happens? And I mean actual cases that appeared in a court, not a article with either anonymous sources or FOAF accounts of what happened.

        • SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

          some simple google-fu will find them. the first hit is http://www.organicconsumers.org/Monsanto/farmerssued.cfm

          • Perdair says:

            Yeah that article you linked is not what’s being discussed at all. In the linked article, the farmers bought Monsanto seed and signed a contract saying they wouldn’t save seed, and instead have to buy it every year. They saved the seed, breakint their contract, so they got sued.

            I have heard of the “they’ll sue you if your crops get cross-pollinated” thing before but I, like SteveDave, think it just might be a FOAF urban myth kinda thing.

  3. mister_roboto says:

    With claims and exaggerations about “corporate controlled world” and “corporations are evil” that get thrown around freely at times without merit (not always though) and used as a knee-jerk-reaction that get tired every time I hear them, all l I have to say:

    Monsanto is pretty evil. They’re at a movie-evil-corporation level. Serious.

    • crashfrog says:

      Yeah, feeding people – that’s pretty evil.

      The thing you think you know, about GMO’s and lawsuits? Turns out it’s a myth. True story. The farmers Monsanto are suing really did steal Monsanto products. It’s like Microsoft suing a company for just passing around one cracked copy of Office instead of buying one for each computer, like they’re supposed to. Try not to forget that farming is a business, too, and farmers have the same profit incentive to steal valuable genetic traits as a photographer has to steal a copy of Photoshop.

      • Leksi Wit says:

        You sir/madam clearly work for the company in some capacity. Shame on you.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        Yeah, the wind blowing seeds and pollen from one field to the other is totally stealing. Theft by air currents, lock their asses up for life.

      • Cat says:

        So, you’re saying that it’s all lies? Try telling that to the seed saving farmers who have had their lives destroyed when they were sued when Monsanto’s crops cross-pollinated into their fields.

        No, I suggest you return to your corporate overlords at Monsanto and tell them you’ve failed to convince Consumerist readers that they at Monsanto are good and decent people.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

          Yeah, but when the seeds they saved came from a 6 acre plot they sprayed with Round Up and only the surviving plants were harvested, so the next year when you plant just those seeds, instead of the seeds from the plants you have grown for years, and those crops are shown to be 90-95% Monsanto seeds, that’s not “accidental”.

        • crashfrog says:

          Really?

          And what case was that?

          The problem here is that what you’re alluding to didn’t happen. Farmers really are stealing Monsanto IP because it’s cheaper – farmers are in a business, not a charity. And I don’t “work for Monsanto”, I’m just better informed than you because I didn’t take scare-story propagana at face-value.

      • mister_roboto says:

        No, it’s like you’re a programmer making a office suite program, and Microsoft suing you for having a crakced copy MS Office operating somewhere in your own software even though it’s clear you made it without using MS Office and even if it was never installed (it appeared “on it’s own”)- and having them show up at your house with mega-lawyers and confiscating your computer then suing you to the point where you lose your start up small time programming business ruing you for life.

        It’s like that.

        • SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

          no, its more like simon and schuster suing you because they accidentally copied over your novel with someone else’s novel on your hard drive.

        • Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

          It’s more like getting sued by Microsoft because your computer became infected with a trojan/virus that injected a cracked copy of Office onto your system.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        Monsanto doesn’t feed anyone. Farmers do.

        Monsanto bullies the people that feed you.

        They do everything they can to “own” the food supply while trying to destroy anyone that resists them. They reduce biodiversity, contaminate regional seed stocks, sue farmers, and try to destroy anyone that would offer farmers any degree of self-reliance.

        Monsanto is a parasite.

      • ARP says:

        Actually no. Seeds from other fields land in their fields via wind, bugs, birds, animals, etc. They don’t want monsanto seed, but they can’t help but get it, given, y’know, wind and nature and stuff.

        • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

          I always thought it was pollen. Can’t imagine bees trying to haul off the seeds, but I guess birds do, and then ‘deposit’ them elsewhere.

          Perhaps the organic farmers should sue Monsanto for poisoning their crops with their GM pollen and seeds. At least use that as a valid counter-suit defense.

    • comatose says:

      SERIOUSLY!?!? Someone actually fervently defending Monsanto? It’s like people defending Stalin – never thought I’d see the day, especially here.

  4. Cat says:

    Monsanto.

    Most. Evil. Company. Ever.

    Unfortunately, there is no “Most Evil” category in the WCIA.

    • Santas Little Helper says:

      Well I think you have something there. Worst could easily be evil. We all complain about comcast doing something bad to somebody, which in the end is some sort of evil act. With that sort of logic monsanto does indeed become the worse company in america.

      Monsanto FTW!!!!

  5. mjd74 says:

    “In her dismissal of the case, the U.S. District Court Judge explains that Monsanto would have no reason to sue organic farmers because such businesses would have no interest in using genetically modified seed to begin with.”

    But they have done this already! And the fact that the organic farmers have no interest in using genetically modified seed is beside the point – this happens through wind pollination!!

    I am seriously shocked by this verdict.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Methinks that judge will be seen driving a brand new Mercedes in the next month or so…

    • crashfrog says:

      I think maybe you don’t understand what “pollination” is. If you have a stand of corn, and a bunch of GM pollen blows in, it doesn’t change your corn. Maybe it changes the next generation of plants, but corn and other agricultural crops are grown as hybrids to exploit heterosis, so you were never going to plant those seeds – those seeds are your product, and they’re not going to express any traits they weren’t already going to express.

      Monsanto is doing nothing but using the same laws that have existed for centuries to protect the work of people who develop crop traits. The same laws that protect orchid breeders and heirloom tomatoes protect Monsanto from people unlawfully exploiting their work. And when a farmer finds glyphosate-resistant traits in seeds, then specifically sets those seeds aside and then plants a whole field of them and sprays glyphosate, you can’t argue that he wasn’t willfully stealing Monsanto IP.

      • Cat says:

        And when a farmer finds glyphosate-resistant traits in seeds, then specifically sets those seeds aside and then plants a whole field of them and sprays glyphosate, you can’t argue that he wasn’t willfully stealing Monsanto IP.

        I require citations and evidence that you can not provide.

      • daynight says:

        When an organic farm plants corn, it plants seeds. The seeds come from somewhere – perhaps that farm from previous seasons crop, or perhaps from another farm. If those seeds were contaminated with GM pollen, then they are contaminated. Period. And the innocent is sued by Monsanto. This is how Monsanto is eliminating generations old seed lines – my contaminating them and suing them out of existence.
        Malicious!

      • Milagro Beanwar says:

        I think maybe you don’t understand what “organic” is. Farmers have to be certified organic by using organic seed and organic methods of growing for two or three years before they get the title, which allows them to sell their crops for a premium price. Organic farmers don’t want Monsanto seed because it ISN’T organic, and organic farmers aren’t spraying with pesticides. When Monsanto’s pollen blows in, the farmer’s organic seed is contaminated, they can’t sell it as organic, and they lose their organic certification. Then, to add insult to injury, Monsanto comes in and sues them, as if they haven’t already lost enough time and money. A proper metaphor would be I own a store, and then Monsanto uses Monsanto gasoline to burn down my store, and then sues me for the cost of the Monsanto gasoline, plus expenses. Monsanto needs to be stopped.

      • Martha Gail says:

        Many farmers would love to clean their own seeds and use them to plant their crop, but they can’t because they are being bullied by Monsanto.

      • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

        I think you don’t understand economics. WTF would a farmer go out and buy new seeds every year when he’s got hundreds of acres of seed producing plants?

        • crashfrog says:

          Because of heterosis. Plants aren’t clones, the second generation isn’t the same as the first. Seriously, draw the Purnett square yourself. Cross F1 and F1 hybrids, and you get a mix of genotypes, not a uniform population of hybrids. That usually means about 60% of the yield of the previous generation.

          Heterosis isn’t new, farmers have been relying on it since 1920. If the closest you’ve ever been to a farm is opening a box of Corn Flakes, though, you just don’t have the information to know what you’re talking about.

    • Cat says:

      If Monsanto agreed to *NOT SUE* any organic farmer when their mutants invade, it wuld have been a good verdict.

      I’m waiting for Monsanto to sue an organic farmer when they find their demon spawn in the farmer’s field. THEN it may set a precedent.

      Also, note: Big city judges have a pretty piss poor understanding of this subject. (This court is located in Manhattan)

    • kenj0418 says:

      This seems like a bizare case to me.

      If it had gone the other way would that have meant I could have sued to block the MPAA and/or RIAA from ever suing me for illegal downloads – even though (lets suppose) I’ve never downloaded anything illegally and they’ve never tried to sue me. And wouldn’t that then be a free-pass to download whatever I felt like?

      Isn’t our court system used to address actual injuries/violations that have occurred, not hypothetical ones?

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        It would be more like you blocking them from suing you when *they* unintentionally upload stuff to your computer, then they sue you because the music is present on your computer even though they put it there. It doesn’t matter that you have no knowledge of it being there and don’t want it there. It’s quite possible that their mistake ruined your computer as well, but they still sue you anyway. That’s pretty much what this is like, since that is pretty much what happens with Montsano.

  6. crispyduck13 says:

    Either their lawyer is a hack or this judge was bought. There is so much evidence of Monsanto being goddamn predators of small farmers and seed supplyers it’s not funny at all. The fact that the lawyer couldn’t convincingly present this and/or the judge didn’t believe it is extremely suspect.

    • crashfrog says:

      Or, alternatively, maybe they judge discovered what I found out a few years ago – much of what you think you know about Monsanto is just food-scare propaganda that doesn’t hold up to a genuine investigation of the matters of fact

      I mean, you saw it on the internet, right? It was told to you by organic farmers who just happened to also sell non-Monsanto fruits and vegetables? Or maybe you saw it on a movie – you know, where you paid a 9-dollar ticket.

      Are you starting to catch on, yet? That there’s a lot of people in the business of making you pay more for your food, or selling you movies and books, by instilling fear about “mainstream” food sources.

      • clippy2.0 says:

        alot of posts, no link. irony, its killing me

      • who? says:

        Or, maybe you’re falling for Monsanto’s propaganda.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        I don’t buy $9 movie tickets and I certainly don’t buy the shit you are selling.

      • Milagro Beanwar says:

        Regardless of whether or not you think organic food is worth the money, if you crap in my hamburger when I’m not looking so I can’t eat my hamburger, and then sue me because my hamburger contains your crap, well, it’s a load of crap, and it’s what Monsanto does.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          Your analogy made me LOL and my boss heard me. Now I’ve been written up for poor office conduct and may be fired. I’ll expect your lawsuit for my unlawful use of your copyrighted hilarity first thing in the morning.

      • TheCorporateGeek Says Common Sense Is The Key says:

        Do you work for Monsanto? Are you up their collective asses? Looks that way. My family has been personally affected by Monsanto and their bullying. The major food industry is a powerful lobby which has run the normal american farmer out of business. You know why we have to import so much food? Because all the farmers we used to have either have succumbed to development, been made corporate ass kissers of big food or have run out of business because they can’t compete. You can’t feed this country on corn alone and I applaud the organic farmers for standing up to them.

        I’ve seen first hand at the tactics Monsanto and others use to burn hard working farmers. Until you’ve been there and actually know WTF you’re talking about, kindly STFU!

      • Nunov Yerbizness says:

        Or maybe I saw it on Wikipedia, where the Monsanto page, with its ample citations, easily makes this company look so soullessly evil that not even Satan wants anything to do with it. Here are some fun highlights:

        * Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications (referring to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) explained the company’s regulatory philosophy to Michael Pollan in 1998: “Monsanto should not have to vouch for the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is FDA’s job.”

        * In 2003, Monsanto sued Oakhurst Dairy in Maine for advertising that its milk products did not come from cows treated with bovine growth hormone, claiming that such advertising hurt its business. The president of Oakhurst responded by saying, “We ought to have the right to let people know what is and is not in our milk.”

        * In January 2005, Monsanto agreed to pay a $1.5m fine for bribing an Indonesian official. Monsanto admitted a senior manager at Monsanto directed an Indonesian consulting firm to give a $50,000 bribe to a high-level official in Indonesia’s environment ministry in 2002, in a bid to avoid Environmental impact assessment on its genetically modified cotton.

        * Between 1965 and 1972, Monsanto paid contractors to illegally dump thousands of tons of highly toxic waste in UK landfill sites, knowing that their chemicals were liable to contaminate wildlife and people. The Environment Agency said the chemicals were found to be polluting groundwater and the atmosphere 30 years after they were dumped.

        * Gary Rinehart of Eagleville, Missouri was sued by Monsanto in 2002, which claimed he had violated their Roundup Ready Soybean patent. Rinehart was not a farmer or seed dealer, sharecropped land with his brother, but he still had to spend money for his legal defense. Monsanto eventually dropped the lawsuit, but never issued an apology, admitted to making a mistake, or was compelled to pay for Rinehart’s legal expenses. Saved seed was indeed found planted on the sharecropped farm, however the person responsible for the planted seed was Rinehart’s nephew, Tim. The company has also been accused of showing up at farmers’ houses, making accusations, and demanding records.

        * Monsanto sued the Pilot Grove Cooperative Elevator in Pilot Grove, Missouri, claiming that offering seed cleaning services to farmers was tantamount to inducing them to pirate Monsanto seeds. The Pilot Grove Cooperative Elevator had been cleaning seeds for decades before companies such as Monsanto could patent organisms.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      Seems to me their attorney didn’t read rule 22 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and missed an opportunity.

  7. Bort says:

    To extend the logic behind this ruling, monsanto should be required to immediately pay any remediation costs from contamination of organic farms (whether accidental or intentional). I doubt this would ever happen, the fact the defendant is a large multinational corporation bears no relation to this issue…

    • Mark702 says:

      This is what I was thinking! I hate Monsanto. If they’re polluting other peoples’ property, in this case their crops, Monsanto should be held liable for that contamination. It’s as if they’re spraying a hose at a crowd of people and then suing those people for stealing the water they sprayed.

  8. rockelscorcho says:

    Yeah, this is just Monsanto doing what they do. It’s like playing basketball with a one armed guy, he’s gonna double dribble! It’s not that you CAN’T blame him for doing it, that’s what he does…did you expect Monsanto to be a good guy in this? They can’t help but be evil, it’s their thing!

  9. bdcw says:

    Maybe these organic farmers should sue Monsanto for contaminating their genetically pure crops.

  10. Katrine says:

    I’m an actual farmer that has dealt with this. While I am sure that there are farmers that are cleaning and replanting soybeans instead of repurchasing them every year, the way Monsanto goes about “finding” farmers that have done this is little more than a witch hunt.

    We were “reported” for replanting without paying the tech fee by a former seed dealer that was upset that we had began purchasing our seed from a different dealer. We were guilty until proven innocent and had to produce all our farm and financial records for the year in question (which was several years prior) to prove to Monsanto’s goons that we had played by the rules. We were 100% cleared but we were still out time and legal fees and ended up having to involve our state representative before the threat of a lawsuit was dropped.

    We have since gone to only non-GMO crops, and it’s a wonderful thing to not have to deal with the Evil Overlord, at least until the next time we’re “reported”.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Yours is the only comment here that really means anything.

      And hey, thanks for growing our food!

    • kimmie says:

      Wow, it’s nice to hear from someone affected by this. As someone who grows some of her own food, and is also allergic to corn, I have a bit of a personal vendetta against Monsanto, but I don’t make my living doing this. I wish you luck in the fight, and would be interested in hearing more!

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

        Monsanto made you allergic to corn?

        • Mark702 says:

          No, that’s not what she said.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

            “As someone who grows some of her own food, and is also allergic to corn, I have a bit of a personal vendetta against Monsanto…”

            What reason is there to have a vendetta against Monsanto, unless she thinks that made her allergic. Unless she’s upset that she grows some of her own food. I mean, people sustaining themselves and saving money?!?! Those Monsanto BASTERDS!

        • bigkoiguy says:

          Around the time GM corn was first introduced, I noticed that commercial products made with dent corn (cornmeal, taco shells) would give me a horrible stomach upset and gas. For a long time, I didn’t realize what the problem was – but have since figured out it is the GM corn used in such products. I can, however, eat organic corn or corn products that I’ve raised or purchased with absolutely no stomach upset.

          • Mrs. w/1 child says:

            I wish someone would study these GM seeds used for food products. Our child would have horrific bowel issues and we had her tested for celiac disease. Doctors kept telling us she wasn’t allergic to wheat and didn’t have celiac disease. Except almost every time she ate wheat, her issues returned.

            So we stopped feeding her foods with wheat despite doctors telling us we were imagining her wheat allergy. Here is what is interesting, we discovered kind of as a happy accident when we switched to all organic food (thinking maybe she was allergic to the pesticides and herbicides or other processing ingredients) she can have bread and pasta made with organic wheat with no issues. I make our bread, pizza crusts, rolls, etc. with non GMO wheat flour and she is fine. If she eats a bagel from a coffee shop she has cramping and inflammation.

            Soooo – remember when we were all kids and everyone could eat peanut butter? Ever wonder why there are so many peanut allergies all of the sudden? Same for eggs…same for corn…

            Makes me wonder. We wonder so much that we only eat organic now for the entire household. It has turned me into quite a cook/baker/pastry maker. Organic foods are not allowed to use GM seeds. Also, I suspect a lot of food labeled “organic” really isn’t (imports from China mostly) as they cause reactions. To avoid playing food roulette we joined a meat and produce co-ops that source from U.S. farms. It limits your out of season offerings but dehydration and canning a lot of produce in season helps in the winter and we buy meat by the half cow and pig and store it in the freezer. No more issues with our child. I can’t believe we spent so much money and trusted “experts” who to this day would tell you that it has nothing to do with GM food.

      • Jaynor says:

        I grow my own food too.

        My latest crop of guinnea pigs is almost ready for harvesting.

    • FLConsumer says:

      Thank you for staying independent and fighting for honest, healthy food!

      I hope that your crops will survive when Monsanto’s GMO crops eventually are afflicted by some disease/insect. Monocultures are one of the dumbest ideas in farming.

  11. ned4spd8874 says:

    Monsanto is evil. That is all.

  12. Cerne says:

    Seriously consumerist? You want a legal system where people can sue for because something might happen in the future? Isn’t this just civil pre-crime?

    • ARP says:

      Declaratory judgement and Interpleaders are common in the legal system and are designed to remove uncertainty. They are not Pre-Crime.

  13. waicool says:

    There is a simple argument that would put an end to Monsanto. Trespassing. Get your biological signature off of my property.! And here are my costs for repairing the damage your biological frankenseeds have caused me.

  14. Perdair says:

    So I was on the “Monsanto is evil” side before I read this article and the comments. I watched the movies and such. So far, though, NO ONE in the comments has linked or provided evidence of any wrongdoing by Monsanto. Certainly not “evil.”
    So far we have –
    1.) Farmers who bought Monsanto seed and signed a contract saying they wouldn’t clean and replant the seeds. Then, they cleaned and replanted the seeds. Seems like the farmers are in the wrong.
    2.) A farmer who had a small section of his crop cross-pollinated by Monsanto genes, noticed they were resistant to Roundup, and then somehow within a few years 95% of his crop was Monsanto plants. This does in fact look suspicious. I don’t blame them for suing. They lost.
    3.) A disgruntled seed dealer who falsely accused a farmer of cleaning seed and breaking his contract. Monsanto investigated. Who can blame them?
    4.) Organic farmers who had not been “contaminated” by Monsanto genes, had not cleaned and reseeded with Monsanto seed, Monsanto had no plans to sue them, but they wanted a judge to rule that Monsanto was never allowed to sue them before anything had happened?
    5.) Many, many, many personal attacks against any commenter who tries to reason any of this out or suggests anything other than “Monsanto is an evil bully.”

  15. gedster314 says:

    My question is how are farmers supposed to stop cross pollination? You can’t the wind, birds and bees.

    I also would like to know how am I supposed to know if I am buying GMO produce? God knows many companies are pretty free with how they use the term Organic. Buying Organic in a store is just a craps shoot.

    • kewpie says:

      By law if a product is 100% USDA Organic, it cannot contain GMOs, but there have been some stories about processed organic products that aren’t exactly what they seem. The best option is to stay out of the grocery stores as much as possible. We buy all of our meat and most of our fruits and veggies from local organic farmers that we can actually talk to face-to-face about their practices. You don’t have year-round access to every single kind of fruit and veggie, but eating seasonally is really not all that difficult once you get used to the rhythms–and preserving (drying, canning, freezing, etc.) foods when they are in season becomes more appealing, as well.

    • crashfrog says:

      Monsanto is absolutely not going to sue you for cross-pollination happening. They’re going to sue you – justly, IMO – when you discover cross-pollination, collect those seeds, and plant entire fields with them so you can use Monsanto’s valuable resistance traits without paying the licensing fee.

      Look, we actually don’t want people to use these traits without a contract, because they have to be used in a certain way to manage pest resistance in the environment – you have to plant a certain mix of resistant and non-resistant corn so that the insects have “refuge” so that they’re not under starvation pressure to evolve resistance to the traits. Of course, farmers don’t want to grow corn just for bugs to eat, they want everybody else to do it for them so that they can grow 100% resistant corn and reap the increased yield. Having farmers only deploy these products under specific contractual terms is crucial to managing pest resistance in the environment.

      Farming is a business. When Monsanto sues a farmer it’s just one business suing another. Happens every day.