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Monsanto Seeks $27M Damages from Tupelo Farm Supply Business in Ongoing Seed Dispute

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page, and our Farm Issues page.

OXFORD, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi has heard arguments from the Monsanto Co., which is seeking $27 million in damages from a Tupelo farm supply business and its owners in an ongoing dispute over saving and selling its patented seeds.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports ( that U.S. District Judge Michael Mills made no decision after hearing Wednesday from attorneys for St. Louis-based Monsanto and businessmen Mitchell and Eddie Scruggs, owners of Scruggs Farm Supply.

A federal appeals court in Washington in 2006 upheld a ruling that the Scruggses violated Monsanto's licensing requirements and its patent for use of the company's seeds.

Saving Monsanto's seeds, genetically engineered to kill bugs and resist weed sprays, violates provisions of the company's contracts with farmers, the company claimed.

Over the past several years, Monsanto has filed legal actions across the country over what farmers say is arguably the age-old farming practice of saving seeds.

Monsanto's patented soybean and cotton seeds have been genetically engineered to resist its Roundup brand herbicide. When Roundup is sprayed on a field, the product will kill the weeds without harming the crop.

Monsanto has a policy that prohibits farmers from saving or reusing the seeds once the crop is grown.