Tuesday, June 25, 2013

When GM pollen blows into a non-GM farmer's fields and irreversibly contaminates his crop with 'biopollution,' who does the law side with? Historically, Monsanto. Also, it's not called 'economic sabotage' but rather 'copyright infringement,' and the victim not the aggressor is threatened with economic ruin.

When Monsanto's unapproved and therefore illegal GM wheat is found years after open field trials growing freely in an Oregon wheat field, the entire state crop's export fate is held in limbo, jeopardizing the present and future living of thousands of farmers and their dependents, with Monsanto receiving little more than a reprimand, followed by rapid USDA assurance that despite a lack of approval their GM wheat is "safe."
Given the unfair rules of the game, no wonder some folks in Oregon, having been treated much like feudal peasants lately, are taking things quite literally into their own hands.
So, when the FBI investigates the destruction of genetically modified sugar beets from two fields in Southern Oregon's Jackson County this month, the act is immediately labeled "economic sabotage," presumably against the multinational corporation who owned the plants.
How fitting an FBI description, considering that Monsanto already planted these 'evil seeds' of doubt by suggesting their unapproved GM wheat in Oregon was a result of sabotage, and not negligence (or intentional contamination) on their part.
According to the Spokesman Review, "The agency [FBI] said in a statement Thursday that about 1,000 sugar beet plants were destroyed on June 8, and more than 5,000 plants were destroyed on a different plot three nights later."  
The article went on to explain that the plants were owned by the Swiss-based biotech company Sygenta, and that the FBI spokewoman, Beth Anne Steele, would not comment on the manner in which the crops were destroyed "...because we don't want to encourage copycats."  However, an article published on OregonLive.com demystified the FBI's account, quoting Paul Minehart, head of corporate communications in North America for Syngenta: "It doesn't look like a vehicle was used. It looks like people entered the field and destroyed the plants by hand."
Monsanto Government Collusion
When multinational corporations like Monsanto have already succeeded in genetically modifying the political system, splicing in their ex-executives and ex-lawyers into positions of great power within the government [see image above], how can folks rely on these Monsanto, Dow and Sygenta-influenced regulatory agencies, and the enforcement arms within their control, to make decisions in the interest of their health or basic civil rights?
Some resort to pulling up, burning and otherwise destroying the plants themselves. Are they terrorists or freedom fighters? And if you answer affirmatively to the latter definition, will you yourself be defined as sympathizers to these "economic saboteurs," or terrorists?

Sayer Ji

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Major Loss to Organic Farmers as Court Rules in Favor of Monsanto

In a major blow to organic farmers and food sovereignty advocates, the US Court of Appeals Monday has thrown out a “pre-emptive strike” against Ag Giant Monsanto meant to protect organic growers from the “world’s most famous patent bully.”
(Photo via OSGATA.org)

“The district court concluded that there was no justiciable case or controversy and dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. 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 (because, for example, some transgenic seed or pollen blew onto the grower’s land),’and appellants have not alleged any circumstances placing them beyond the scope of those assurances, we agree that there is no justiciable case or controversy,” stated the appellate court’s ruling.

The aforementioned ‘binding assurances’ refer to a statement on the company’s website which claims it “has never been nor will it be Monsanto policy to exercise its patent rights where trace amounts of our patented seeds or traits are present in farmer’s fields as a result of inadvertent means.”

Despite these claims, the company has thus far pursued over 800 patent cases against farmers who plant their genetically modified (GMO) RoundUp Ready seeds without paying the proper royalty—whether deliberate or not—including a May Supreme Court ruling which favored the biotech company in a suit against Indiana soybean farmer Hugh Vernon, who planted unlabeled seeds he had purchased second-hand.

“It is a very bizarre ruling that relies on a paragraph on a website,” said Andrew Kimbrell, a lawyer with the Center for Food Safety, which joined as a plaintiff in the suit. “It is a very real threat to American farmers.”

The coalition who filed the suit—which includes the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association among over 20 others—had hoped the action would serve as a “pre-emptive strike” on behalf of organic farmers to protect against accusations of patent infringement in the case that their organic crops become contaminated by genetically modified (GM) seeds.

Reuters reports that Monsanto officials specifically refused to sign a covenant stating it would not sue the growers, though the court felt the website statement “was sufficient and would be binding.”
The ruling comes as scientists grapple with the recent discovery of Monsanto’s unapproved GMO wheat in an Oregon field, spurring concerns over potential contamination by the controversial GM seeds which can easily be spread by wind or pollinators.

“Monsanto is the world’s most famous patent bully,” OSGATA President, Jim Gerritsen, said ahead of the ruling. “Monsanto villainizes everyone they sue, and everyone they come up against becomes the bad guy.”

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This article originally appeared on: Common Dreams