Family Farmers to Travel to Washington, D.C. to Take on Monsanto

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farmers vs monsanto

Dozens of family farmers, Plaintiffs in the landmark lawsuit Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto, will travel from across America to Washington, D.C. next week to take on Monsanto and demand the right to farm. They will attend the January 10th Oral Argument in the Appeal of Dismissal to be aired before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. A Citizen’s Assembly in support of family farmers at 10am in Lafayette Square will coincide with the beginning of the Oral Argument inside the court room.

“Our farmers want nothing to do with Monsanto,” declared Maine certified organic seed farmer, Jim Gerritsen, President of lead Plaintiff Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association. “We are not customers of Monsanto. We don’t want their seed. We don’t want their gene-spliced technology. We don’t want their trespass onto our farms. We don’t want their contamination of our crops. We don’t want to have to defend ourselves from aggressive assertions of patent infringement because Monsanto refuses to keep their pollution on their side of the fence. We want justice.”

Many farmers have been forced to stop growing certain crops to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits from Monsanto. This case challenges the validity of Monsanto’s genetically engineered seed patents and seeks Court protection for family farmers who, through no fault of their own, may have become contaminated by Monsanto’s patented seed and find themselves accused of patent infringement.

Monsanto filed 144 lawsuits against America’s family farmers and settled another 700 out of court between 1997 and 2010. These aggressive lawsuits have created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy.

“The District Court erred when it denied the organic seed plaintiffs the right to seek protection from Monsanto’s patents,” said attorney Dan Ravicher of the not-for-profit Public Patent Foundation “At the oral argument on January 10, we will explain to the Court of Appeals the District Court’s errors and why the case should be reinstated.”

Citizen’s Assembly In Support of Family Farmers is scheduled for 10am in Lafayette Square on Thursday, January 10. Family farmers, their lawyers, and supporters will join after the hearing to explain why they traveled thousands of miles to protect their farms and communities.

“Farmers have planted and saved seeds for more than 10,000 years without interruption until Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds entered the market in 1996. Almost immediately Monsanto began a campaign of harassment against America’s farmers, trespassing on their land and launching frivolous patent infringement lawsuits,” said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!. “It’s time to end Monsanto’s campaign of fear against America’s farmers and stand up for farmers’ right to grow our food without legal threats and intimidation.”

The lawsuit was originally filed in March 2011 by a large group of 83 Plaintiffs, which included individual family farmers, independent seed companies and farm organizations, whose memberships total over 300,000 individuals. The case was dismissed in February 2012 by Federal Judge Naomi Buchwald who ruled that the farmers lacked standing.

Lawyers from the Public Patent Foundation representing the farmers have identified numerous reversible legal and factual errors committed by the judge, which they assert caused her to mistakenly dismiss the case and have filed a powerful appeal brief with the court. Amici briefs in support of the Plaintiffs have been filed by a group of eleven prominent law professors and by a group of fourteen non-profit agricultural and consumer organizations.

OSGATA has established a Farmer Travel Fund to provide travel assistance to Plaintiff farmers for the case. Donations can be made here.

About OSGATA: The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association is a not-for-profit agricultural organization made up of organic farmers, seed growers, seed businesses and supporters. OSGATA is committed to developing and protecting organic seed and it’s growers in order to ensure the organic community has access to excellent quality organic seed free of contaminants and adapted to the diverse needs of local organic agriculture.

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  • GrandpaSpeaks

    It seems the name “Round Up” was chosen very carefully. The outcome of this one will tell a tale, indeed. Big Pharma should be next. How many of those are owned by Monsanto?

  • Ted

    The preservation of our heritage seed crops is vital to the survival of the human species as well as animals and insects. These seeds represent thousand s of years of evolution. Monsanto, working with the eugenisists criminal banksters would poison us all for a fiat dollar. I stand with the farmers! God be with you.

  • c

    Monsanto has won court cases so far because they have huge legal firms that that years to get to court and drive small farmers into bankruptcy and force them to settle.
    If this was a car painting shop and their paint was drifting onto others property, they would not be allowed to go and attack the innocent neighbors and take their paint damaged possessions like Monsanto takes neighbors crops. They would be held liable for the dammage that their drifting paint had done. Monsanto knew that their products would drift pollen and HARM neighboring crops. I see no difference between crop pollen dammage and auto paint drift dammage. Monsanto should never have won even one single case. Our courts should be holding up the rights of the farmers to not be dammaged by a thug neighbor who knowingly allows his product to dammage others property.
    God be with the orgainc farmers association and I add my prayers. I hope millions of others will also pray this month in support of the orgainc farmers and the rights of us all, to grow and eat healthy foods.

  • ManCavePatriot

    Americans MUST demand that food processors be required to label their packaging if GMO’s are being used. This mutant technology can be found in almost all of our foodstocks and is not safe for long-term consumption.

  • John Drake

    When the current assistant commissioner of the FDA is an ex-Monsanto executive…

    When Monsanto writes the laws for the FDA to approve…

    When millions are pumped into Senators and Congressmen’s re-election war chests by Monsanto…

    When people take action like they do in France and ‘remove’ the crops and fields where Monsanto plants…

    Otherwise, money talks and our representatives do the Monsanto walk.

  • Mr. B

    Mansanto and Agent Orange sound familiar to anybody?