A new lawsuit involving Roundup Ready alfalfa and other transgenic seed has been filed against Monsanto by organic seed groups, organic farmers and seed producers and a few conventional seed growers.
“This case asks whether Monsanto has the right to sue organic farmers for patent infringement if Monsanto’s transgenic seed should land on their property,” says Dan Ravicher, executive director of Public Patent Foundation, which filed the lawsuit.
Ravicher charges that Monsanto “has made such accusations before and is notorious for having sued hundreds of farmers for patent infringement … ”
A New York federal district court holds the filing, instigated by more than 60 plaintiffs, including the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, Organic Crop Improvement Association International and The Cornucopia Institute.
It challenges the validity of Monsanto’s transgenic seed patents using, as legal basis, an 1817 lawsuit that determined “a new invention to poison people … is not a patentable invention” (Lowell v. Lewis, 15 F. Cas.1018). “Because transgenic seed, and in particular Monsanto’s transgenic seed, is ‘injurious to the well-being, good policy, or sound morals of society’ and threatens to ‘poison people,’ Monsanto’s transgenic seed patents are all invalid,” the lawsuit states.
Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto, can be viewed at http://www.pubpat.org/assets/files/seed/OSGATA-v-Monsanto-Complaint.pdf.