Farmers Market 

More than 270,000 organic farmers are taking on corporate agriculture giant Monsanto in a lawsuit filed March 30. Led by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, the family farmers are fighting for the right to keep a portion of the world food supply organic—and preemptively protecting themselves from accusations of stealing genetically modified seeds that drift on to their pristine crop fields.

Consumers are powerful. For more than a decade, a cultural shift has seen shoppers renounce the faster-fatter-bigger-cheaper mindset of factory farms, exposéd in the 2008 documentary Food, Inc. From heirloom tomatoes to heritage chickens, we want our food slow, sustainable, and local—healthy for the earth, healthy for animals, and healthy for our bodies.

But with patented seeds infiltrating the environment so fully, organic itself is at risk. Monsanto’s widely used Genuity® Roundup Ready® canola seed has already turned heirloom canola oil into an extinct species. The suing farmers are seeking to prevent similar contamination of organic corn, soybeans, and a host of other crops. What’s more, they’re seeking to prevent Monsanto from accusing them of unlawfully using the very seeds they’re trying to avoid.

“It seems quite perverse that an organic farmer contaminated by transgenic seed could be accused of patent infringement,” says Public Patent Foundation director Dan Ravicher in a Cornucopia Institute article about the farmers’ lawsuit (May 30, 2011), “but Monsanto has made such accusations before and is notorious for having sued hundreds of farmers for patent infringement.”

Even as the megacorporation enjoys soaring stock, the U.S. justice department continues to look into allegations of its fraudulent antitrust practices (The Street, June 29, 2011):

Tina Engressia
7/20/2012 2:48:27 PM

like tammy wrote: "In order to "empower the people", please add more information, or a section on "What you can do...." that's what i would like to see as well. i'm sold on the fact that this whole gmo issue is a real bad idea. besides help to raise awareness what else can i be doing. the monsanto rider for example. what can we do to derail that? thank you, tina

1/8/2012 5:35:40 PM

They used to spray toxic neurotoxin pesticides on the outside of plants that could at least be washed off. Now the toxins are genetically modified and are inside the food - who thought of such a stupid idea to save a few cents. INSANE.

rosalie stafford
8/17/2011 12:56:07 PM

"heirloom canola oil"? No such thing. Rapeseed oil is an industrial lubricant; highly refined (with super-heated with hexane) is is pushed as a "healthful" oil. Canola is a recent hybrid -- now a GM hybrid -- even the name is new, invented by marketers.

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