Saturday, January 5, 2013

Family Farmers to Travel to Washington, D.C. to Take on Monsanto

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Activist Post

Dozens of family farmers, Plaintiffs in the landmark lawsuit Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto, will travel from across America to Washington, D.C. next week to take on Monsanto and demand the right to farm. They will attend the January 10th Oral Argument in the Appeal of Dismissal to be aired before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. A Citizen's Assembly in support of family farmers at 10am in Lafayette Square will coincide with the beginning of the Oral Argument inside the court room.

"Our farmers want nothing to do with Monsanto," declared Maine certified organic seed farmer, Jim Gerritsen, President of lead Plaintiff Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association. "We are not customers of Monsanto. We don't want their seed. We don't want their gene-spliced technology. We don't want their trespass onto our farms. We don't want their contamination of our crops. We don't want to have to defend ourselves from aggressive assertions of patent infringement because Monsanto refuses to keep their pollution on their side of the fence. We want justice."

Many farmers have been forced to stop growing certain crops to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits from Monsanto. This case challenges the validity of Monsanto's genetically engineered seed patents and seeks Court protection for family farmers who, through no fault of their own, may have become contaminated by Monsanto's patented seed and find themselves accused of patent infringement.

Monsanto filed 144 lawsuits against America's family farmers and settled another 700 out of court between 1997 and 2010. These aggressive lawsuits have created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy.

"The District Court erred when it denied the organic seed plaintiffs the right to seek protection from Monsanto's patents," said attorney Dan Ravicher of the not-for-profit Public Patent Foundation "At the oral argument on January 10, we will explain to the Court of Appeals the District Court's errors and why the case should be reinstated."

A Citizen's Assembly In Support of Family Farmers is scheduled for 10am in Lafayette Square on Thursday, January 10. Family farmers, their lawyers, and supporters will join after the hearing to explain why they traveled thousands of miles to protect their farms and communities.

"Farmers have planted and saved seeds for more than 10,000 years without interruption until Monsanto's genetically engineered seeds entered the market in 1996. Almost immediately Monsanto began a campaign of harassment against America's farmers, trespassing on their land and launching frivolous patent infringement lawsuits," said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!. "It's time to end Monsanto's campaign of fear against America's farmers and stand up for farmers' right to grow our food without legal threats and intimidation."

The lawsuit was originally filed in March 2011 by a large group of 83 Plaintiffs, which included individual family farmers, independent seed companies and farm organizations, whose memberships total over 300,000 individuals. The case was dismissed in February 2012 by Federal Judge Naomi Buchwald who ruled that the farmers lacked standing.

Lawyers from the Public Patent Foundation representing the farmers have identified numerous reversible legal and factual errors committed by the judge, which they assert caused her to mistakenly dismiss the case and have filed a powerful appeal brief with the court. Amici briefs in support of the Plaintiffs have been filed by a group of eleven prominent law professors and by a group of fourteen non-profit agricultural and consumer organizations.

OSGATA has established a Farmer Travel Fund to provide travel assistance to Plaintiff farmers for the case. Donations can be made here.

About OSGATA: The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association is a not-for-profit agricultural organization made up of organic farmers, seed growers, seed businesses and supporters. OSGATA is committed to developing and protecting organic seed and its growers in order to ensure the organic community has access to excellent quality organic seed free of contaminants and adapted to the diverse needs of local organic agriculture.

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Anonymous said...

If people don't stand up against Monsanto, they'll never stand up. What a corrupt and disgusting company.

Anonymous said...

Monsanto's GMO issues are far from being the only issue, Monsanto was connected to the chemical operations in a town called Elmira in Ontario, Canada producing among other things "Agent Orange" during the Vietnam war years.

My sister attempted to open a restaurant and pub there that focused on "local produce" but found the town council extremely hostile and they purposefully bankrupted her by hassling her over BS "fire code" issues(the previous restaurant there operated with all those issues but was passed on fire inspections every year) which ultimately prevented her from getting her liquor license.

Even after fixing every issue that was pointed out to us(at significant cost) the fire chief refused to receive or return her phone calls to come re-inspect the restaurant to give it a pass, for like 2 months.

A pub without alcohol doesn't work so well, so even with good food she couldn't keep things running after dumping tons of money into it and it went under.

A few years later she started a college course on environmental studies and one of her first lessons was learning about how in Elmira most of the local produce she was focusing on was essentially poison due to decades of chemical dumping, spills, and explosions/fires that have turned the entire area into a chemical wasteland.

Most of the locals there are Mennonites who are totally oblivious to this stuff, but her restaurant was going to be serving poison foods mostly to non-Mennonites and "out of towners" who would not be so oblivious - and if aware are more likely to cause an issue over it, Mennonites don't like to "rock the boat" so to speak - one of the reasons the chemical companies set up shop there in the first place.

If people had started getting sick and it was traced back to the "local produce" at her restaurant then the fact the entire town is a chemical waste dump would have become well known to the public.

And the town would probably have fallen apart as people fled the chemical wasteland.

So the town council there destroyed her business to prevent the town from being destroyed by the harsh reality of chemical wastes.

Monsanto itself may not have been directly involved in that stuff involving my sister, I believe most of the operations were connected to DOW Chemicals, but the town council there is deep in the pockets of the chemical companies and it would be very naive to think that those corporate entities were not aware of what was going on.

It is the chemical companies that would have ended up paying out big money to compensate for health problems and to clean up the chemical wastes, including a large underground storage facility for chemical wastes still there beneath the town today.

The day one of the chemical plants exploded right down the street from my sister was frightening for her(as police told people not to worry about the orange haze over the town as the plant burned), realizing that even without explosions/fires and strange chemical hazes living in Elmira is essentially a death sentence is probably even more frightening.

And they wouldn't be painless or quick death sentences either but long, drawn-out cancers and such that destroy people before killing them.

And the people behind this all, like Monsanto, are the ones in government these days "regulating" and "punishing" their own companies for such things.

Hence "regulate" and "punish" means "cover-up" and ignore any and all problems unless public outrage forces them into action.

These corporate monsters need to have their power removed by any means necessary, these farmers fighting Monsanto need support from people fighting them for other reasons - of which sadly there are many reasons.

It's a worthy fight in my view, good on these farmers (and anyone else fighting them) for not backing down.


Isa said...

Monsanto needs to GO AWAY along with all the poison GMO foods and other atrocities this company 'creates'

Anonymous said...

Brave, the spirit of awake citizens everywhere will be by their side.
Guess they'll have to widen the definition of "terrorist" to include farmers...wait they already are-they hoard water.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to the farmers

Anonymous said...

I would think that the court would side with farmers unless it can be demonstrated conclusively that they knowingly possessed, planted, raised or harvested patented Monsanto products.

[EDITORIAL: In the note "About OSGATA" that appears below the article, "it's" is used incorrectly. The posessive "its" is correct in this context.]

Anonymous said...

. . . traveling to [Monsanto's headquarters in], Washington D.C.

Anonymous said...

Genetic Modified (GM) Food Conspiracy, by Kenneth Dean Troxel

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is not broken down like other sugars. Normal sugar or sucrose is broken down by the pancreas, which results in the body releasing insulin to moderate blood sugar and lowering apatite. HFCS is not recognized by the body as a sugar, it is broken down by the liver. Since the body does not recognize HFCS as a sugar, blood sugar level spikes wildly causing a reduction in the feeling of being full since it does not trigger the normal sugar and insulin response.

HFCS has been linked to cirrhosis of the liver, fatty liver disease, type II diabetes and obesity.

HFCS is cheep to make and has replaced nearly every food that once contained sugar. Most HFCS foods are aimed at children or young adult consumption. At the very least, ban HFCS from all cereals, juices, and bread products.

The rise in obesity rates has direct links to HFCS and should be recognized as such. One recent rat study showed that when two groups of rats where given equal calorie contents of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup, the HFSC rats gained twice the weight.
Stop subsidizing HFCS and restart subsidizing other sugars such as beet and sugar cane products. If you can’t ban HFCS then tax it to death, this will force predatory capitalists to go back to healthier sugars.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is made from genetically modified (GM) corn. Nearly 90% of all corn grown in the United States is GM corn, which may contain one or two (mostly both) different genetic modifications, such as Round-Up Ready herbicide and bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin. Corn refiners will not disclose how much of the genetically modified aspects of these grains come through the HFCS process. Genetic modifications replaced eight to fifteen percent of the protein starches in grains.

What bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin protein breaks down in the digestive track of the insect, then it generates as shorter protein that binds to the wall of the intestines, which damages the cell membranes, thus causing intestinal leakage of fluids into the body, killing the insect. The theory is that BT toxin modifies the intestinal tract of all organic life that consumes this protein by thickening the intestinal lining. Whether this effect is detrimental to humans in the long run is not known since the FDA and Monsanto will not allow anyone to run real scientific testing. The rational in using BT bacteria in genetic splicing, was due to the fact that this poison is used in liquid insect killer by farmers and gardeners, for over forty years, with no known side effects to humans or animals. But you must realize that when this BT toxin was just a minor used pesticide, it was not used that often, now it’s nearly in every food that Monsanto Corporation modifies and consumers eat.

Part 1 of 2

Anonymous said...

Good for the farmers, farming is the oldest and truest form of business. Before industrialization, farming, fishing, hunting and gathering was the business of 99% of the human population in the world. Farmers are our future, they need our support and protection.

m said...

Some parts of the American justice system are extremely corrupt as evidenced by the previous judge.

Good luck to the farmers.

Anonymous said...

There's a youtube video titled 'David versus Monsanto'. Gives an idea about the unfair business practices of Monsanto and how innocent farmers have been at the receiving end of this bullying and for so long.

In India there were 1000+ suicides by farmers within a couple of years, not to mention their total failure with GM cotton, the 1820 sheep deaths from grazing GM crops and tons of other issues. They are banning GMOs. Kenya already did. Russia, Japan are increasing GMO-free regions. Peru banned them. Poland too. Many more countries are increasingly banning GMO. Some counties in US and Canada have banned GMOs and I hope others follow suit

Its a disease-ridden, money making, monopoly-seeking scheme, hiding behind the difficulties of science to absolutely relate diseases to genetic modification.

Even keeping that aside, we need to stand by these farmers and put an end to the injustices and unfair business practices of such companies

Anonymous said...

I don't have much money at all but I am donating to that travel fund for those farmers.

Get the word out about this!!!! Every little bit helps!

Blog, send emails to friends and family, etc!

Anonymous said...

Open Question to monsanto et al.
With all your so-called expertise have you: Cured the common cold?; Cured ANYTHING?; Cured the angst generated by your half thought out scams?; Worked out what the other 98% of the 'junk' DNA actually does?; Created anything constructive from the bazillions of dollars injected into your frankenstein-esque business model?; Done anything constructive for the agricultural industry outside your own little cess pool? I'm not expecting an answer!

Anonymous said...

lETS PRAY & HOLD UP tHESE fARMERS THAT HAVE GONE TO WASH. That what is covered up by Monsanto & all it's Chemicals to hurt People is shown up & brought to the Light & the Farmers will Win against this evil Conglomorate once & for all. America needs The Farmers. We don't need Monsanto Sereds Amen. GOD WILL HEAR & ANSWER. HE'S NEVER LOST A BATTLE YET.

Anonymous said...

Oh and PLEASE for the love of all that people consider holy---- PLEASE stop screwing around with people's pube hairs! The cucumber debacle is just downright embarrassing.

Why the hell would you feel the need to mess with the DNA of cucumbers??

laverneisgold said...

I pray those farmers win their fight. I like organic food. It is very healthy for you and the environment. True Monsanto need to keep it's poisonous seeds " on it's side of the fence " and leaves the farmers alone.

Anonymous said...

There are no words for to desribe EVIL that rule on the top of "our" hierarchical pyramids

Steve said...

Good luck to the farmers on this one. I guess you can only try and sue people so many times before they decide enough is enough.

Angel said...

Steve, before 'they' who decide enough is enough? The farmers or the fucktards at Monsatan Seeds Inc. ?

I can tell you this much, my grandfather(rest his soul) was a farmer for sixty-five years and grew everything you can imagine here in central Florida. Citrus to sweet potatoes and fingerling bananas and black-eye-peas. He was an organic farmer who didn't bother to get the 'organic' label put on his land because he knew it was the only RIGHT way to farm and get good food on your plate. Grew his own food and had a million dollar citrus business.

My grandfather would never give up. He'd have hobbled down Pennsylvania Ave. cussing up a storm and giving Monsatan the finger. Good man. Then again, he was ex-military, ex-Pentagon so..... I think he could have done a bit more damage than just insulting people with his words and fingers.

I wish he was still around. He just passed two years ago in April. If he knew(and who says he doesn't??) what was going on here he'd be raving mad. He'd always loved showing off what he grew with his own two hands, dirt, plus a mess of cow and chicken poop. Man made a mean batch of creamed corn when I first got my braces on. Best corn I ever had.

countyguard said...

Monsanto is a domestic terrorist organization, purveyor of poison, a threat to lives and health, and WILL be stopped. What does one do against someone when threatened with harm or death? You defend yourself. Monsanto owes every farmer they put out of business treble damages, and should be declared illegal.

Anonymous said...

I wish them all the luck but as Monsanto is owned by the Nazi/Zionist/Illuminati Cabal who run our world I doubt they will be able to do much if anything.

Anonymous said...

I wish you , the farmer's, all the luck in court today.. I will pray that someone will comprehend and know that Monsanto is a group of people who want to control our way of life... They will have control if they can obtain all the seeds God put here on the Earth. They know if they have the seeds for our food, they can control our food, and ultimately control all of the animal and humans on this Earth..We are against Monsanto

Jodi said...

Thank you for fighting for us!

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