Monsanto tries to criminalize saving seeds, drags farmer into court
by: Summer Tierney
Thursday, October 18, 2012
As if its costly genetic tampering with the whole natural world weren’t brazen enough, Monsanto continues to bully and intimidate farmers across the United States, hoping this time to push its agenda through the highest court in the justice system.
The Supreme Court agreed last week to hear an appeal regarding Monsanto’s case against Knox County, Indiana soybean farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman. Monsanto has pursued a lawsuit against the 74-year-old claiming Bowman made unauthorized use of its patent-protected Roundup Ready seeds. Bowman reportedly purchased additional, cheaper seed from a local grain elevator and used it to plant a late-season crop. He repeated this activity over a period of eight years beginning in 1999, continually saving and planting the new seeds generated by the commodity elevator crop.
Though Bowman was saving seeds from only the elevator crop, nature was doing what nature does best. With the Monsanto variety in the 90-percent majority over the other crop on Bowman’s 299-acre farm, it was only a matter of time before contamination occurred. When it did, and Monsanto learned of Bowman’s seed harvesting activities, they sent their well-funded attorneys after him for patent infringement.