GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD:
Monsanto Wins Again…Court Throws Out Lawsuit Filed by Organic Farmers
Monsanto won’t have to face a challenge to its patents on genetically modified seeds after a U.S. appeals court affirmed a decision to throw out a lawsuit filed by organic farmers and seed sellers.
The case brought by the farmers is Organic Seed Growers and Trade v. Monsanto Co., 12-1298, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The world’s largest seed company has made “binding assurances” that it won’t take patent action against farmers whose crops inadvertently contain traces of Monsanto’s biotechnology genes, so there’s no reason for a lawsuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington said in an opinion posted on its website yesterday.
Monsanto has pursued more than 800 patent cases against farmers who planted its seeds without paying the proper royalty. The lawsuit, filed in March 2011, was a preemptive action by farmers, seed sellers and agricultural groups that said they had no desire to plant Monsanto seeds, took steps to avoid doing so and yet feared becoming the target of a patent-infringement suit if Monsanto’s modified traits were found in their soybeans, corn or other crops.
Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto filed 144 infringement suits and settled about 700 other cases without litigation, according to the opinion. The company’s practices have been upheld by courts, including a May decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.
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