Thursday, April 26, 2012

Your Food is at Stake - Sue Monsanto

Farmers need our support in their lawsuit against Monsanto.

Background Information
In the past two decades, Monsanto’s seed monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets! Their insecticide poison producing crops and Round Up Ready crops are everywhere.

Monsanto has tons of money but they sue farmers in poor countries who make little money. In many cases farmers are forced to stop growing certain organic and conventional crops to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto admits to filing 144 lawsuits against America’s farmers, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts. Due to these aggressive lawsuits, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy. If you are a farmer and your crops are pollinated by Monsanto's GM pollen from their crops, your crops are now fare game for Monsanto to sue you. It does not matter that their pollen contaminated your crops. The way they see it is that you have their GM crop now and since they own the patent they will sue you for stealing their genetic property. What a racket. Since Monsanto's past lawyer-lobbyist, Michael Taylor is our current food Czar and many of Monsanto's past employees work at the FDA and USDA, they make the rules in their favor. Even congress and the courts often rule in their favor. Their aim to control worldwide food production is coming true for them unless we act now!!!

“America’s farmers deserve to be protected under the law from the unwanted genetic contamination of their crops by Monsanto’s flawed genetically engineered seed technology,” said David Murphy, founder and Executive Director of Food Democracy Now!, an Iowa-based national advocacy organization of more than 300,000 members. “These farmers have no desire to use Monsanto’s GMO seeds, yet they are forced into the untenable position of losing their right to farm in the manner in which they choose, face legal intimidation and the loss of economic livelihood, all because America’s legal system has failed to adequately protect them from the real threat of genetic trespass that is inherent as a result of Monsanto’s patented GMO seeds and the natural biological functions of cross pollination from wind, insects or animals.”

GMO farmers are becoming Monsanto's serfs and organic and conventional farmers fear they too will become gobbled up by Monsanto if they do not act quickly. They could easily have Monsanto's pollen from GM crops trespass onto their land at any time by a passing bee or other pollinator that flits from one field to the next. They know once their crop is contaminated they will be in possession of a crop that is technically owned by Monsanto. It is not fair and it is an insidious evil progression that will effect all of us since we all eat! Organic Farmers have united and sued Monsanto. We must support them. The organic farmers filed a law suit as OSGATA (Orgnaic Seed Growers and Trade Association) et AL v. Monsanto

The Lawsuit
The original complaint in OSGATA (Orgnaic Seed Growers and Trade Association) et al v. Monsanto was filed on March 29, 2011. In July, Monsanto filed a motion to dismiss.  Plaintiff lawyers at PUBPAT then filed a rebuttal brief on August 11, 2011. Judge Buchwald called for oral argument on the motion to dismiss, which was held in Manhattan on January 31, 2012.  The judge’s dismissal ruling was issued February 24th and plaintiffs were given thirty days in which to file their Notice of Appeal.

March 28, 2012 – Today, in Federal District Court in Manhattan, family farmers filed their Notice of Appeal to Judge Naomi Buchwald’s February 24th ruling dismissing Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hear the farmers’ appeal, seeking to reinstate the case, which has received worldwide attention. The farmers are determined to move forward with their lawsuit challenging Monsanto’s patents on genetically engineered seed technologies in order to continue their pursuit of Declaratory Judgment Act court protection from Monsanto’s claims of patent infringement should their crops become contaminated by Monsanto’s seed.

The farmers need our support if we want the right to make sure that the food we put into our bodies is safe and nutritious. We need to demand that our government and courts speak for all of us and protect our farm lands.  I will put a list of the farmers involved in the lawsuite at the end of this blog. If they are in your area, please purchase food from them and consider donating money to them. You can also donate money to OSGATA here for the lawsuit. Your donation to them will support the following:
  • Coordinating the PUBPAT lawsuit against Monsanto’s GMO patents as well as providing information to the public.
  • Defending a farmer’s right to save and trade seed
  • Encouraging the viability of regional organic seed companies
  • Promoting the right to farm, protected from GMO contamination
  • Ensuring the right to true choice in the marketplace for farmers and consumers
  • Establishing protocols for maintaining organic seed integrity and testing seed quality.
  • Protecting farmer developed varieties
  • Developing  and supporting  organic seed standards
  • Encouraging National Organic Program progress toward 100% organic seed
You can get more details on the lawsuit or make a donation to their cause here. You can also sign up for facebook notices on this page to keep up with the lawsuit.

The Appellants in the suit represented by PUBPAT are: Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association; Organic Crop Improvement Association International, Inc. (OCIA); Food Democracy Now!; The Cornucopia Institute; Demeter Association, Inc.; Navdanya International; Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association; Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter, Inc.; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont; Rural Vermont; Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association; Southeast Iowa Organic Association; Mendocino Organic Network (California); Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance; Canadian Organic Growers; Family Farmer Seed Cooperative; Sustainable Living Systems (Montana); Global Organic Alliance; Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund; Weston A. Price Foundation; Center for Food Safety; Beyond Pesticides; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Rhode Island; Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut; Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York; Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance; Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (Wisconsin); Midwest Organic Dairy Producers Alliance; Florida Organic Growers; Peace River Organic Producers Association (Alberta and British Columbia); FEDCO Seeds, Inc. (Maine); Adaptive Seeds, LLC (Oregon); Sow True Seed (North Carolina); Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (Virginia); Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds (Saskatchewan); Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co., LLC (Missouri); Comstock, Ferre & Co. LLC (Connecticut); Seedkeepers, LLC (California); Siskiyou Seeds (Oregon); Countryside Organics (Virginia); Cuatro Puertas (New Mexico); Seed We Need (Montana), Wild Garden Seed (Oregon); Alba Ranch (Kansas); Wild Plum Farm (Montana); Gratitude Gardens (Washington); Richard Everett Farm, LLC (Nebraska); Philadelphia Community Farm, Inc. (Wisconsin); Genesis Farm (New Jersey); Chispas Farms, LLC (New Mexico); Midheaven Farms (Minnesota); Koskan Farms (South Dakota); California Cloverleaf Farms; North Outback Farm (North Dakota); Taylor Farms, Inc. (Utah); Ron Gargasz Organic Farms (Pennsylvania); Abundant Acres (Missouri); T & D Willey Farms (California); Quinella Ranch (Saskatchewan); Nature’s Way Farm, Ltd. (Alberta); Levke and Peter Eggers Farm (Alberta); Frey Vineyards, Ltd. (California); Bryce Stephens (Kansas); Chuck Noble (South Dakota); LaRhea Pepper (Texas); Paul Romero (New Mexico); Donald Wright Patterson, Jr. (Virginia); Common Good Farm; LLC (Nebraska); American Buffalo Company (Nebraska; Full Moon Farm, Inc. (Vermont); Radiance Dairy (Iowa); Brian L. Wickert (Wisconsin); Bruce Drinkman (Wisconsin); and Murray Bast (Ontario). 

Some websites for GMO information
This site is a register of GMO environmental contamination around the world http://www.gmcontaminationregister.org/


Where you can find out what products are guaranteed non-GMO http://www.nongmoproject.org


For excellent general information on GMO's go to http://www.responsibletechnology.org/ as well as

http://www.seedsofdeception.com/Public/Home/index.cfm


To follow the court case against Monsanto http://www.osgata.org/http://www.osgata.org/


To stay up on GMO's and General Food issues: http://www.organicconsumers.org/ 


If you live in Oregon go to http://www.gmofreeoregon.org/
 

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