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  • Snowy Smith
    ANOTHER CRIMINAL SCAM. Monsanto joins World Council on Sustainable Development & Agenda 21     Corporate giant Monsanto, known for its controversial
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 21, 2013
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      Monsanto joins World Council on Sustainable Development & Agenda 21
      Corporate giant Monsanto, known for its controversial business model,
      lobbying, and its widely criticized genetically modified organisms (GMOs), has
      officially joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a
      group of powerful interests including major banks and Big Oil backing the United Nations “Agenda 21” scheme for
      so-called “sustainable development.” Critics, however, expressed alarm over the
      announcement, saying the global “sustainability” push is really a transparent
      plot to centralize power in the UN and enrich special interests at the expense
      of private property rights, national sovereignty, and individual liberty. 

      Despite the widespread suspicion and criticism
      plaguing both Monsanto and theglobal Big Business alliance pushing
      the UN’s Agenda 21, the company and the coalition celebrated the
      move in a recent press release. According to
      the announcement late last month, the biotech behemoth will be rolling out a
      “sustainability” course for its employees all over the world. Chairman and CEO
      Hugh Grant will represent the GMO company as a “Council Member” in the global
      “sustainable development” coalition.
      For complete article:

      Take On Monsanto in GMO Seed Patent Case
      Bowman, Indiana Farmer, Prepares To Take On Monsanto In Seed Patent Case
      than 50 organizations
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      * Oral arguments are set for Feb. 19

      * Case examines patent law; seen key for biotechnology

      * More than 50 groups file briefs trying to sway court

      By Carey Gillam

      Feb 15 (Reuters) - A 75-year-old Indiana grain farmer will take on global seed
      giant Monsanto Co at the U.S. Supreme Court next week in a patent battle that
      could have ramifications for the biotechnology industry and possibly the future
      of food production.

      The highest court in the United States will hear arguments on Tuesday in the
      dispute, which started when soybean farmer Vernon Bowman bought and planted a
      mix of unmarked grain typically used for animal feed. The plants that grew
      turned out to contain the popular herbicide-resistant genetic trait known as
      Roundup Ready that Monsanto guards closely with patents.

      The St. Louis, Mo.-based biotech giant accused Bowman of infringing its patents
      by growing plants that contained its genetics. But Bowman, who grows wheat and
      corn along with soybeans on about 300 acres inherited from his father, argued
      that he used second-generation grain and not the original seeds covered by
      Monsanto's patents.

      A central issue for the court is the extent that a patent holder, or the
      developer of a genetically modified seed, can control its use through multiple
      generations of seed.

      The Supreme Court's decision to hear the dispute has sparked broad concerns in
      the biotech industry as a range of companies fear it will result in limits
      placed on their own patents of self-replicating technologies.

      At the same time, many farmer groups and biotech crop critics hope the Supreme
      Court might curb what they say is a patent system that gives too much power to
      biotech seed companies like Monsanto.

      "I think the case has enormous implications," said Dermot Hayes, an
      Iowa State University agribusiness and economics professor who believes
      Monsanto should prevail. "If Monsanto were to lose, many companies would
      have a reduced incentive for research in an area where we really need it right
      now. The world needs more food."

      The court battle has ballooned into a show-down that merges contentious matters
      of patent law with an ongoing national debate about the merits and pitfalls of
      genetically altered crops and efforts to increase food production.

      More than 50 organizations - from environmental groups to intellectual property
      experts - as well as the U.S. government, have filed legal briefs hoping to sway
      the high court.

      Companies developing patented cell lines and tools of molecular biotechnology
      could lose their ability to capture the ongoing value of these technologies if
      the Supreme Court sides with Bowman, said Hans Sauer, deputy general counsel for
      the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

      The case also is important to regenerative medicine that relies on stem cell
      technologies. A stem cell by definition is a cell that can self-replicate, thus
      the case may answer the question of whether a patentee can control progeny of a
      patented stem cell, according to Antoinette Konski, a partner with Foley &
      Lardner's intellectual property practice group.

      Monsanto, a $13 billion behemoth in agricultural seed and chemical sales, also
      sees the case as much bigger than itself.

      "This case really centers on the question of twenty-first century
      technology such as what we bring in agriculture and other companies bring for
      say stem cell research or nanotechnology.... and how they're going to be
      handled under principles of intellectual property law," said Monsanto
      general counsel Dave Snively.


      Because seeds self-replicate, creating progeny when planted, they are unlike
      more traditional patented products. Using a computer or smartphone does not
      create more computers or phones. But using a seed can make new seeds.

      For generations all around the world, farmers have practiced the art of saving
      seed, holding onto some of the grain they harvest each season to plant in a
      subsequent season. The advent of patented biotech seeds has changed that as
      Monsanto and rival seed developers barred farmers from seed saving, arguing
      that if farmers do not buy new seed each year the companies cannot recoup the
      millions they spend to develop the specialty seeds.

      Transgenic crops, which splices genes from other species into plant DNA, have
      given farmers crops that resist insects and tolerate treatments of herbicide,
      making killing weeds easier for farmers. The majority of U.S. corn and soybean
      acres are now planted with patented biotech seeds.

      The case before the Supreme Court traces its roots to 1999, when Bowman decided
      to plant a "second crop" of soybeans after he harvested winter wheat
      from the farmstead he runs near Sandborn, Indiana.

      While he used Monsanto's Roundup Ready engineered seeds for his main, or
      "first" crop, Bowman said he decided to use inexpensive commodity
      grain that he could purchase from a local grain elevator for his
      "second" planting of soybeans in late June. Yields are generally
      lower for late-planted soybeans because conditions tend to be more optimal in
      April and May.

      The mixture of grain Bowman bought, which he dubbed "junk," carried
      no patent technology agreement and no directive prohibiting seed saving as do
      the bagged and branded soybean seeds sold by Monsanto and other seed companies.

      The soybean crop turned out so good that Bowman saved some of the seed
      generated by the plants and sowed them the following year for another late
      crop. He repeated the process year after year, sometimes supplementing his
      second planting with more commodity grain he used as seed. All the while he
      continued to buy first-generation seed each year for his main crop of beans.
      For those purchases, he signed required "technology agreements"
      pledging not to save the offspring of those seeds.

      Monsanto began investigating Bowman's planting activities in 2006 and asserted
      that even though he was not saving seed from the progeny of the
      first-generation seeds he bought, his use of commodity grain and the progeny
      was a patent violation.

      Bowman argued that Monsanto's rights to the seeds he purchased from the grain
      elevator were exhausted because they were not the first generation seeds other
      farmers had purchased and planted, but rather a mix of later generation

      "It didn't occur to my mind that this would be a problem," said
      Bowman, who doesn't have a computer at home so he goes to the library to read
      about his case on the Internet. "Farmers have always been allowed to go
      buy elevator grain and use for seed. You have no idea what kind of seed you're
      buying at an elevator. They claim I'm making a new seed by planting it. But
      that's far-fetched reasoning."

      Bowman said he just wanted cheaper seeds. His legal brief states the technology
      fees for Roundup Ready soybeans have risen to $17.50 per bag by 2009 from about
      $4.50 in 1996.


      A lower court ruled in favor of Monsanto, and in May 2010 it ordered Bowman to
      pay the company $84,456. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals also sided with
      Monsanto in September 2011.

      The Supreme Court's decision to hear the case has raised the hopes of those
      backing Bowman.

      In one of a dozen briefs filed in his support, farmer, environmental and food
      safety groups claim the courts have carved out an exception to existing patent
      law that gives biotech companies too much control. They want the Supreme Court
      to broaden farmers' abilities to use seed, not restrict them.

      "Through a patenting system that favors the rights of corporations over
      the rights of farmers and citizens, our food and farming system is being held
      hostage by a handful of companies," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive
      director of the Center for Food Safety, one of the groups supporting Bowman.
      "Nothing less than the future of food is at stake."

      Bowman's attorneys allege specifically that the appellate court created a
      "conditional sale" exception to a long-standing doctrine of patent
      exhaustion in a way that conflicts with existing law. (For more details, click
      on )

      But Monsanto backers say without extended patent protection, technology
      companies will not be able to recoup their investment in research and
      development, and advantageous new technologies could be shelved.

      "This case presents a matter of great importance to America's farmers and
      the decision will have acute impacts on how agricultural producers will... meet
      the nutritional demands of a growing global population," states one brief
      filed by 20 soybean, corn, wheat and sugar beet growers groups.

      Back on his farm in Indiana, Bowman is looking forward to his trip to
      Washington and said he does not understand what all the fuss is about. He said
      few farmers make use of commodity grain for planting, and he doesn't see how a
      few hundred acres of soybeans hurts Monsanto's billions in annual revenues.

      "I bought new seed every year for my first crop. If I had such a good
      scheme why did I do that," said Bowman.

      "If I done something wrong I should pay for it. If I didn't then I
      shouldn't. I don't think I did," he said. (Reporting By Carey Gillam;
      Editing by Tiffany Wu and Leslie Gevirtz)
      Ban all GMO seeds.
      Have a look at the
      16 photos AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STORY
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