|Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse
500 Pearl St., New York, NY 10007-1312
A Citizen’s Assembly of Support for Family Farmers vs. Monsanto
Jan. 31, 2012
When: Tuesday, January 31, 2011 @ 9:00 am
Where: Southern District Court, New York City
Most cheese makers are trying to eat healthy. Many are small farmers trying to live off the land. In our experience, hardly any of them consider genetically modified seeds to be healthy for humans or the environment. Our company simply won’t sell GMO products.
But, if you’re a farmer who wants to switch from GMO seeds to conventional ones, good luck. For one thing, you may not be able find them if you want to grow corn, soy or cotton seed. Monsanto has bought out most of the other seed companies and made alliances with the remaining few.
If you do find conventional seeds and you plant them anywhere near your previous crops (or anywhere near other farms using GMO seeds), there will be contamination. Monsanto may come to your farm, note the contamination and sue you for patent infringement. If you’re like many farmers, you will fight it for awhile, declare bankruptsy and give up farming.
If this sounds preposterous to you- it is Monsanto has an annual budget of $10 million to enforce their patents. Seeds spread (via wind, birds, trucks on the highway and scat from mammals). Wherever their seeds have spread, Monsanto can and does enforce their patents.
Additionally, when a farmer buys Monsanto seeds, he/she is required to sign an agreement not to save the seeds from one year to the next. They have to buy new seeds every year. The seeds themselves are designed to withstand the effects of Roundup, which happens to be Monsanto’s most popular herbicide.
Fortunately, there are organizations challenging Monsanto in court to protect our food system:
We have some exciting news.
On January 31, family farmers, organic seed growers and sustainable farm advocates will travel to New York City to take part in the first phase of a lawsuit filed to protect farmers from genetic trespass by Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds (GMOs), which often contaminates organic and conventional farmers’ crops and exposes them to abusive lawsuits by the world’s largest biotech seed and chemical corporation: Monsanto.
In March 2011, Food Democracy Now! joined the lawsuit Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto during the first round of plaintiffs, in what could be an historic lawsuit that protects family farmers and challenges the legitimacy of Monsanto’s patents on their genetically engineered (GMO) seeds and their right to sue farmers indiscriminately. There are now 83 plaintiffs in the lawsuit, including sustainable and organic farmers and food, agricultural research and environmental organizations collectively representing more than 300,000 farmers and citizens across the country.
Shortly before the New Year, Judge Naomi Buchwald agreed to hear oral arguments on Monsanto’s motion to dismiss OSGATA et al v. Monsanto in federal district court in lower Manhattan on January 31st, 2012.
This is a crucial moment for America’s family farmers and the future of our food supply. Will you let farmers know you support them on January 31st?
To add your name of support, click here to say: “I Stand With Farmers.” http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/515?akid=456.301185.bV3MRh&t=9
We’ll deliver your comments to the farmers before they enter the court to stand up for their right to grow food without threat of intimidation and harassment.
Judge Buchwald’s upcoming decision on Monsanto’s motion to dismiss is a critical hurdle that the case must clear in order for it to move forward.
The motion by Monsanto falls within their clear pattern of diminishing plaintiff’s rights and filing frivolous legal motions similar to past legal maneuvering and makes it clear that Monsanto fully intends to continue to threaten and harass farmers.
According to the Public Patent Foundation, Monsanto has one of the most aggressive patent assertion agendas in history. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto admits to filing 144 lawsuits against America’s family farmers, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts.
As a result of these aggressive lawsuits, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy. Family farmers need your help today to send a message to the world: It’s time to put an end to Monsanto’s campaign of fear.
Click here to say “I Stand with Farmers” so we can deliver that message loud and clear to the farmers who travel to New York to take part in the lawsuit and for farmers everywhere who struggle against Monsanto’s unfair genetic contamination of their crops.
Thank you for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team
P.S. For those who are interested or able, Food Democracy Now! and our fellow plaintiffs invite you to take part in a Citizen’s Assembly for Support Family Farmers vs. Monsanto outside the court in an effort to stand up for America’s farmers at this crucial moment in their quest for justice. Click here to RSVP and learn more about how to participate outside the courtroom. http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/519?akid=456.301185.bV3MRh&t=14
Michael Taylor was just appointed senior adviser to the commissioner of the FDA. This is the same man that was in charge of FDA policy when GMO’s were allowed into the US food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety. He became Monsanto’s Vice President and chief lobbyist. This month he became the senior adviser to the commissioner of the FDA.
Judge Rules GE Alfalfa Destruction was Legal, Decision to be Appealed
A U.S. District Judge in San Francisco issued a ruling finding that the USDA decision to deregulate genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa was not unlawful, as has been charged by organic and environmental advocates, including Beyond Pesticides. Judge Samuel Conti of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California found that USDA did not act improperly by deregulating the GE Roundup Ready alfalfa, developed by Monsanto Co., and that the agency’s environmental review of the product was adequate.