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Lawsuit Against Monsanto Continues: Farmers Determined to Defend Right to Grow Food

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.
NEW YORK - Family farmers have filed a Notice of Appeal  challenging 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 in Manhattan will hear the farmers' appeal, seeking to reinstate the case, which has received worldwide attention.

The determined plaintiffs are moving forward with their lawsuit challenging Monsanto's patents on genetically engineered seed technologies - and the biotechnology giant's threat to sue farmers allegedly infringing on their technology should their crops become contaminated by Monsanto's genetically engineered seed.

"Farmers have the right to protect themselves from being falsely accused of patent infringement by Monsanto before they are contaminated by Monsanto's transgenic seed," said Dan Ravicher, Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), a not-for-profit legal services organization based at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law that represents the plaintiffs.  "Judge Buchwald erred by denying plaintiffs that right and they have now initiated the process of having her decision reversed."

Monsanto's harassment of family farmers is well known in farm country, the biotech seed and chemical giant has one of the most aggressive patent assertion agendas in U.S. history.  Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto acknowledges filing 144 lawsuits against America's family farmers, while settling another 700 cases out of court for undisclosed amounts and imposing gag orders on farmers.

The farmers' fears were heightened when Monsanto refused to provide a legally binding covenant not to sue in the future, signaling the corporation's intention to maintain their option to pursue innocent family farmers in the future.