Organic Farmers vs. Monsanto: Appeal Filed!
On March 23, 2012 the collective of farmers, seed growers and farm groups (OSGATA) supporting organic and non-GMO farming filed an appeal for their case against Monsanto to be heard in The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Manhattan. Hallelujah! Please add your name here to our brand new petition letter and show your support for Organics over Monsanto. Your comments will be heard, so please sign and speak your truth.
The farmers’ appeal is in response to Judge Naomi Buchwald’s dismissal of OSGATA’s case against the biotech behemoth Monsanto on Feb. 24, 2012. This outrageous decision sent shockwaves around the world. Passionate responses were heard from countries far and wide, with many voiced on the first petition we created in March to support OSGATA. Thanks to all of you who signed and commented on it; together we totaled over 8,500 signatures and over 1,000 heartfelt comments from countries all over the globe, some of which I had never even heard of! Thank you to all of you who took the time to sign and share it!
We delivered the March petition letter with your signatures and all your comments to OSGATA. Jim Gerritsen, of Wood Prairie Farm in Maine and the lead Plaintiff in the case, sent a personal reply upon receiving our comments and signatures:
“We are grateful for your efforts in helping to gather these signatures. The comments are very heartwarming. Thank you and know that we are not about to give up. We understand that we are but the representatives of millions who desire the right of access to clean and good food for their families. To have the support of passionate, caring people who value basic health and clean food is very much appreciated.”
— Jim Gerritsen, President of OSGATA
Video: I Stand with Farmers vs. Monsanto
The farmers’ group (OSGATA) originally filed suit to protect themselves against Monsanto’s aggressive and unreasonable policy of harassing, suing, and even bankrupting, small farmers found to have biotech’s patentedGMO plants inadvertently growing on their property. After the decision by Judge Buchwald, OSGATA had one month to appeal the decision. The appeal will now be heard by The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Manhattan, New York. No trial date has yet been set.
What’s uncanny is that the farmers don’t want any money from Monsanto. They filed suit simply to protect themselves before Monsanto has reason to come for them. Monsanto is known for bullying small farmers who do not plant GMO crops. If GMO pollen or actual seed drifts onto a farmer’s non-GMO crop, they can be found liable for “possession,” otherwise known as patent infringement, even though they have no interest in growing Monsanto’s lousy GMO crops in the first place! Absurd as it is, farmers can be sued for patent infringement should they come to “possess” Monsanto technology as a result of “trespass and contamination” of their crops by Monsanto seed—even though common sense tells us that if anyone is trespassing here, it’s Monsanto.
“The farmers are under threat. Our right to farm the way we choose, and to grow pure organic seed and healthy food on our farms for our families and for our customers is under assault,” said Gerritsen.
“We are honor-bound to challenge an erroneous ruling which denies family farmers the protection the law says we deserve. We’re not asking for one penny from Monsanto. Ultimately, our fight is for justice and is waged to defend the right of the people to have access to good and safe food.”
I like that. I think this should be Monsanto’s new business plan!
Back to reality, farmers across the United States have become increasingly wary because Monsanto has refused to sign a legally binding contract not to sue “possessing” farmers for inadvertent contamination of their crops by GE seeds. After watching their fellow farmers get sued and financially broken by Monsanto, the remaining mostly organic farmers and seed groups in the USA banded together to proactively fight back against the biotech bullies before they got rounded up by Monsanto’s patent infringement gestapo. All the farmers are asking for now is that they be protected from lawsuits if GE plants are found growing inadvertently on their property.
“American farmers deserve to be protected under the law from the unwanted genetic contamination of their crops by Monsanto’s flawed genetically engineered seed technology,” said Dave Murphy, the founder and Executive Director of Food Democracy Now!. Sounds reasonable, no? Let’s hope the court thinks so too.
From 1997 to 2010, Monsanto admits to filing at least 144 lawsuits against America’s family farmers. They also acknowledge settling another 700 or so cases out of court for undisclosed amounts of money while imposing gag orders on the farmers in question. Will Fantle, co-director of The Cornucopia Institute and whistleblower for the organic industry says, ”We need the courts to protect farmers and consumers from genetic trespass and pollution of our food chain. This lawsuit is critical to the future of organic food and agriculture.” Jim Gerritsen concludes:
“Today is Independence Day for America. Today we are seeking protection from the Court and putting Monsanto on notice. Monsanto’s threats and abuse of family farmers stops here. 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. Organic farmers have the right to raise our organic crops for our families and our customers on our farms without the threat of invasion by Monsanto’s genetic contamination and without harassment by a reckless polluter. Beginning today, America asserts her right to justice and pure food.”
— Jim Gerritsen, President of OSGATA
On behalf of the Organic farmers’ continued efforts for all of us, please:
1) Add your name here to stand up for Organic Farming.
2) Share this article and the new petition link far and wide.
3) Donate to OSGATA’s efforts against Monsanto
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