(US) Is It A Crime to Plant A Seed?
Vernon “Hugh” Bowman, a 75-year-old farmer from rural Indiana, did
something that got him sued. He planted soybean seeds. But Monsanto,
the agra-giant, insists that it has a patent on the kind of
genetically-modified seed Bowman used — and that the patent continues
to all of the progeny of those seeds.
Have we really gotten to the point that planting a seed can lead to a
high-stakes Supreme Court patent lawsuit? We have, and that case is
Bowman v. Monsanto, which is being argued on Tuesday. Monsanto’s
critics have assailed the company for its “ruthless legal battles
against small farmers,” and they are hoping that this will be the case
that puts them in its place. They are also hoping that the court’s
ruling will rein in patent law, which is increasingly being used to
claim new life forms as private property.
Many people are troubled by how Monsanto does business — its market
dominance, its hardball fee tactics. But as reasonable as these
anti-Monsanto views may be, the company has a good record of winning
cases like this. The federal appeals court that has already ruled in
Bowman v. Monsanto sided with Monsanto. And the Obama administration
is arguing in the Supreme Court on Monsanto’s side.
If this were a Hollywood movie, the plucky old Indiana farmer would
beat the profit-minded corporation before the credits rolled. But this
is a real-life argument before a Supreme Court that has a well-earned
reputation for looking out for the interests of large corporations.
This case gives the court an opportunity to rein in the growing use of
patents to protect genetically engineered crops and other life forms —
but the court may well use it to give this trend a powerful new
----- http://www.animalconcerns.org/ -----
Like us on FACEBOOK! - http://goo.gl/IqGNG
More News Headlines! New Links -- 100 most recent links!
Events, E-Mail Lists, Jobs, Organizations, and Message Boards (Forums)
SEARCH for the item on Animalconcerns.org!
Animal Concerns News Service (RSS Feed):