Monsanto calls the lawsuit against it by organic groups and growers a “publicity stunt,” adding that many of the allegations are “false, misleading and deceptive.”
The lawsuit, filed March 29 in New York federal court, asks that Monsanto be prevented from suing organic farmers for patent infringement if its transgenic seed should land on their property. It alleges that Monsanto holds many transgenic seed patents, that those patents are invalid, and that the company has “aggressively asserted” those patents against “literally hundreds of farmers, including those farmers who became contaminated by Monsanto’s transgenic seed through no fault of their own.”
“Here are the facts,” states a Monsanto blog called Beyond the Rows. “Monsanto has not ever sued and has publically committed to not sue farmers over the inadvertent presence of biotechnology traits in their fields.”
“The plaintiffs’ approach is a publicity stunt designed to confuse the facts about American agriculture. These efforts seek to reduce private and public investment in the development of new, higher-yielding seed technologies. This attack comes at a time when the world needs every agricultural tool available to meet the needs of a growing population, expected to reach nine billion people by 2050. While we respect the opinion of organic farmers as it relates to the products they choose to grow, we don’t believe that American agriculture faces an all-or-nothing approach.
“Rather we believe that farmers should have the ability to choose the best agricultural tools to farm their own land and serve their own end-market customers. We are confident that these multiple approaches can co-exist side by side and sustainably meet the world’s food needs over next 40 years,” according to the blog.
“We stand behind the American farmer, remain committed to investing in new tools to help American agriculture meet the needs of our growing world, and are prepared to vigorously defend ourselves.”
The lawsuit, called 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.