While I was at the Guelph Organic Farming conference in January, there was a very excited and victorious vibe circulating about a class action lawsuit that was being filed against Monsanto by organic seed growers, farmers and food safety organizations in the US. Canadian farmers were also involved with fundraising, research and support
“This one hits at the soft underbelly of Monsanto,” said Arnold Taylor, farmer activist from Saskatchewan.
The premise of the case filed on February 24, 2012 was that organic growers were having to severely curtail their operations out of fear of being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement. Should genetically modified seed blow on to their farms and contaminate their crops, they could be sued and put out of business. Farmer-plaintiffs could demonstrate over 300 cases where Monsanto had sued farmers for carrying out normal seed saving activities.
Yesterday the case was dismissed because the judge claimed there was no controversy and she had no jurisdiction over the suit. The farmers have not given up, and they are launching an appeal. However, each of these lawsuits is such a financial and energetic draw from farmers resources that it truly is a crime to subject them to the burden of going to court again and again.
To read more on the case: