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(US) Is It A Crime to Plant A Seed?

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  • AnimalConcerns.org
    [TIME] Vernon “Hugh” Bowman, a 75-year-old farmer from rural Indiana, did something that got him sued. He planted soybean seeds. But Monsanto, the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 18, 2013
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      [TIME]

      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
      endorsement.

      --
      full story:
      http://ideas.time.com/2013/02/18/is-it-a-crime-to-plant-a-seed/

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