Around 300,000 organic farmers think that Monsanto, the biotech giant known for genetically modifying Mother Nature’s handwork for profit and pushing over the little guys all the while, is pretty seedy.
Now a judge in New York is debating if Monsanto’s questionable methods will go before a jury.
Judge Naomi Buchwald of the Southern District Court of New York says she will have a decision on March 31 in regards to whether a lawsuit waged against the mega-corporation Monsanto should make it to trial.
Last year, 270,000 organic farmers from around 60 family farms tried to take Monsanto to court over issues pertaining to a genetically-modified seed masterminded by the corporation. Not only were the smaller farms concerned over how the manufactured seeds had been carried by wind and creature alike onto their own plantations, but the biggest problem perhaps was that Monsanto was filing lawsuits themselves against farmers.
Monsanto went after hundreds of farmers for infringing on their patented seed after audits revealed that their farms had contained their product — as a result of routine pollination by animals and acts of nature. Unable to afford a proper defense, competing small farms have been bought out by the company in droves.
As a result, Monsanto saw their profits increase by the hundreds of millions over the last few years as a result. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto tackled 144 organic farms with lawsuits and investigated roughly 500 plantations annually during that span with a so-called “seed police.”
Farmers have been concerned that unless Monsanto is stopped, their reign over the world’s agriculture will surpass anything imaginable. They are seeking pre-emptive protection from those questionable lawsuits and next month Judge Buchwald will weigh in on if the matter should go to trial.
Her honor recently listened to oral arguments on Monsanto’s Motion to Dismiss, which the corporation hopes to win to cease the charges being brought by a total of 83 plaintiffs representing now over 300,000 organic farm-affiliated businesses. The legal team for the small-time farmers also offered their arguments.
“Monsanto's threats and abuse of family farmers stops here,” says Jim Gerritsen, president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association. “Monsanto's genetic contamination of organic seed and organic crops ends now. Americans have the right to choice in the marketplace — to decide what kind of food they will feed their families — and we are taking this action on their behalf to protect that right to choose.”
Elizabeth Archerd, the director of a Minneapolis food co-op, adds in support of the farmers to the New York Times, “Pollen and DNA do not play by the USDA’s rules.” Although hundreds of thousands of farmers feel the same way, it’ll take a judge to decide the next step in the case.
From there though, things could get dirty. Michael Taylor, a former attorney for the US Department of Agriculture and lobbyist for Monsanto was recently appointed to a federal role as the deputy commissioner for foods at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since then, the FDA has refused requests to label genetically modified products as such despite demands from consumer protection groups.
No chance, same thing with former goldman partners being on top of CFTC... documents (like who benefitted on the 2008 financial crisis) vanish, no lawsuits happen and if, the highest courts are nominated and controlled by the big players and not by family farmers interests and rights.
Despite requests made under the Freedom of Information Act for correspondence out of the White House, the Obama administration is refusing to comply with calls to disclose discussions with Monsanto-linked lobbyists.
The US-based non-profit group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is demanding that the White House comply with a FOIA request for information that might link the Obama administration with lobbyists tied to the Monsanto corporation. Monsanto, an agricultural biotech company that rakes in billions each year, has become the enemy of independent farmers in recent years after the corporation has sued hundreds of small-time growers and, in many cases, purchased farms that are unable to compete in a court of law.
As Monsanto’s profits grow and the group comes close to monopolizing the market for American agriculture, the company has at the same time thrived due its use of controversial genetically-engineered seeds.
Three-hundred thousands organic farmers across America are currently trying to take Monsanto to court to keep the corporation from continuing its war on independent growers. As a case is composed, the PEER group suspects that the White House’s refusal to comply with the FOIA request could be because Monsanto has some powerful friends on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Particularly, PEER is trying to pry correspondence that came into the inbox of a White House policy analyst from a lobbyist with the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), which represents Monsanto and other manufacturers of genetically-engineered seeds.
The White House says that disclosing the full details of the email could give competing companies an advantage as lobbying secrets are unearthed for the world, but PEER thinks the truth is much worse than that.
"We suspect the reason an industry lobbyist so cavalierly shared strategy is that the White House is part of that strategy," PEER staff counsel Kathryn Douglass tells the Truthout website. "The White House's legal posture is as credible as claiming Coca Cola's secret formula was 'inadvertently' left in a duffel bag at the bus station."
Michael Taylor, a former attorney for the US Department of Agriculture and lobbyist for Monsanto, was recently appointed to a federal role as the deputy commissioner for foods at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Since then, the FDA shot down requests from consumer protection groups to label genetically modified products as such. With a White House-Monsanto connection already established with the appointment of Taylor, PEER and others are interested in what other ties could exist between the two.
The inquiry from PEER stems from an earlier email obtained in which biotech lobbyist Adrianne Massey confronts a White House official with regards to if and how the administration is dealing with a lawsuit PEER had filed.
In that instance, PEER had fought and won to keep genetically-engineered crops from being planted in wildlife refuges. PEER is now suing the White House for the rest of that correspondence and other related emails.
Although the butterfly population may be suffering, humans are taking heat from Monsanto’s creations as well. Past research has shown that Monsanto’s Roundup ready crops are leading to mental illness and obesity, primarily by destroying the amount of good bacteria found in the gut. The corporation’s Roundup, containing glyphosate, has also been shown to cause infertility and birth defects."
How many people have to die or get some some of the above mentioned problems before someone does something.....
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