HERE IS What he’s up against –
A landmark lawsuit filed on March 29 in US federal court seeks to invalidate Monsanto’s patents on genetically modified seeds and to prohibit the company from suing those whose crops become genetically contaminated.
“Thus, since the harm of transgenic seed is known, and the promises of transgenic seed’s benefits are false, transgenic seed is not useful for society.”
This means, should the court agree, that all transgenic seeds fail the test of patent law. The suit has the potential to reverse patent approval on all biotech seeds, impacting BASF, Bayer, DuPont, Dow, and Syngenta, and others. Genetic contamination of natural plants occurs where GM seeds are grown, no matter who developed them. Ingesting food which has had its DNA mucked with is dangerous, regardless of who does the mucking.
“Monsanto began applying for patents on glyphosate tolerance in the mid 1980s. Its first patents on the trait were granted in 1990 and are now expired. After pursuing its earliest patents on glyphosate resistance, Monsanto continued to seek and receive patents on Roundup Ready technology for over two decades….
“In acquiring the transgenic seed patents, Monsanto unjustly extended its period of patent exclusivity by duplicating its ownership of a field of invention already covered by other Monsanto patents.”
The suit then concludes, “Monsanto’s transgenic seed patents are thus invalid for violating the prohibition against double patenting.”
Monsanto admits that its product contaminates natural crops. That must be why it recently altered its Technology Stewardship Agreement to transfer liability for its products to the farmers who buy them.
The suit logically asserts that genetic contamination amounts to trespass on the property of those who do not want GE seeds, causing them substantial economic harm.
“Farm Advantage filed a patent invalidity counterclaim, arguing that sexually reproducing plants, such as Pioneer’s corn plants, are not patentable subject matter within section 101. Farm Advantage maintained that the Plant Patent Act of 1930 (PPA) and the Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) set forth the exclusive statutory means for protecting plant life.”
The court disagreed, and thus allowed patents on sexually reproducing life forms, which extends to animals. Of note, the decision was written by ethically-challenged Clarence Thomas, a former Monsanto attorney. Thomas also refused to recuse himself from a 2010 case involving Monsanto. (Geertson Seed v Monsanto involved contamination of natural alfalfa.)