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Farmers and advocacy groups join together to challenge Monsanto's aggressive seed patent lawsuits

Posted: September 9, 2013 |   Comments

( On Thursday, 73 U.S. farmers, seed companies and public advocacy groups have joined forces to appeal against Monsanto in the Supreme Court. Their case seeks to challenge the company's patent claims on GMO seeds and to halt their aggressive lawsuits against anyone whose fields are contaminated by their GMOs.

Over 100 farmers have been sued by Monsanto for patent infringement and the company has won cases against farmers who "used" their seeds without paying royalties.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a previous ruling which states that organic and non-GMO farmers have no legal standing to prohibit Monsanto from suing them if their fields are contaminated with the company's manufactured genetic traits, "because Monsanto has made binding assurances that it will not 'take legal action against growers whose crops might inadvertently contain traces of Monsanto biotech genes."

Daniel Ravicher, Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation, says that Monsanto's patents on GM seeds don't meet the "usefulness" requirement of patent law. The plaintiffs have cited evidence proving that GM seeds have adverse economic and health effects and limited benefits.

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