Supreme Court rules for Monsanto in Indiana farmer’s GM seeds case
The US Supreme Court came down solidly on the side of the agricultural giant Monsanto on Monday, ruling unanimously that an Indiana farmer could not use patented genetically modified soybeans to create new seeds without paying the company.
The case – which was cast by the farmer’s supporters as a classic tale of David vs Goliath – could well dictate the future of modern farming.
In an unanimous ruling written by Justice Elena Kagan, the court ruled that the farmer, Vernon Bowman, had infringed on Monsanto’s patent for its GM soybeans when he bought some of those seeds from a local grain elevator and planted them for a second, late-season crop. Monsanto sued, arguing that Bowman had signed a contract when he initially bought the Roundup Ready soybeans in the spring, agreeing not to save any of the harvest for replanting. The seeds are genetically modified to be resistant to Roundup Ready weedkiller.
By the start of this year, Monsanto had filed 144 lawsuits against 466 farmers and small farm businesses alleging patent infringement, according to a report from the Centre for Food Safety which has championed Bowman’s case.
The report noted that three big companies now control more than half of the global seed market – a position that has sent prices soaring. The report said the average cost of planting an acre of soybeans had risen 325% between 1995 and 2011.
Posted on May 14, 2013, in activism, buisiness, Food, Government, Natural resources, politics, SCIENCE, USA, Wealth and tagged Bowman, David, Elena Kagan, Indiana, Monsanto, Roundup Ready, Supreme Court, United States Supreme Court. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.