Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Supreme court rules against organic movement

The United States Supreme Court has ruled in favour of Monsanto and against the organic movement in Canada and the United States on a lawsuit the organic growers started in 2011 in New York State.

The organic growers sought protection against patent infringement lawsuits Monsanto might file against them.

The company argued that organic growers don’t use Roundup, therefore Monsanto doesn’t really care if they have some Roundup-Ready plants growing in their fields.

The company also said it has a policy of not bothering with farmers and fields where less than one per cent of the plants are growing from Monsanto-patented seed.

The organic growers are apparently more interested in curbing Monsanto’s powerful position in plant breeding and seed sales.

For example, one of the organic organizations involved in the lawsuit is Food Democracy Now whose executive director, Dave Murphy, said of the court decision that “Monsanto has effectively gotten away with stealing the world’s seed heritage and abusing farmers for the flawed nature of their patented seed technology.”

Canadians who took part in the Supreme Court appeal include Canadian Organic Growers (COG) with its head office in Ottawa, the Peace River Organic Producers Association of Silver Valley, Alta. Murray Bast of Wellesley, Ont., Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds ofg Parkside, Sask., Quinella Ranch near Regina, Nature’s Way Farm of Grimshaw, Alta., and Levke and Peter Eggers Farm at La Glace, Alta.

Three other Canadian organization that were involved in the original lawsuit did not participate in the appeal - Quebec’s Union Paysanne, Manitoba Organic Alliance and Interlake Forage Seeds of Fisher Branch, Man.