To what extent must organic farmers and growers go to in order to protect their businesses? If a farmer chooses to grow organically and is contaminated by the GMO technology, they may be sued for the contamination as a patent infringement. Is there anything they can do?
The large group of 83 Plaintiffs in OSGATA v. Monsanto is comprised of individual family farmers, independent seed companies and agricultural organizations. The total number of members within the plaintiff group exceeds 300,000 and includes many thousands of certified organic farmers. The Plaintiffs are not seeking any monetary compensation. Instead, the farmers are pre-emptively suing Monsanto and seeking court protection under the Declaratory Judgment Act, from Monsanto-initiated patent infringement lawsuits
Jim Gerritsen, Maine organic seed farmer and President of lead Plaintiff, Organic Seed Growers And Trade Association said, "our lawyer did a good job explaining the current injustice farmers face. We have a right to be secure on our farms and to be free from Monsanto's GMO trespass. If we become contaminated by Monsanto, not only is the value of our organic seed crop extinguished but we could also be sued by Monsanto for patent infringement because their contamination results in our 'possession' of their GMO technology. We have farmers who have stopped growing organic corn, organic canola and organic soybeans because they can't risk being sued by Monsanto. It's not fair and it's not right. Family farmers need justice and we deserve the protection of the court."
Tune in to this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, as host, June Stoyer is joined by special guest, Jim Gerritsen, to discuss this very important case.