Here is a short message from organizers at the national Food Democracy Now group. There have been many voices raised against the corporate bullying of Monsanto over the years, and this lawsuit is but the latest attempt to curb the huge power Monsanto wields in agriculture and in Washington. No matter what your feelings are regarding tampered genetics and food production, we can all recognize the dangers of allowing a monopoly corporation to put small farmers out of business. Following is a simple summary from the FDN, followed by a short paragraph that I added to a letter to the DC court.
On January 10, family farmers will enter a courtroom in Washington DC to take part in the appeal of OSGATA vs Monsanto et al, a court case filed to protect farmers from genetic trespass by Monsanto’s GMO seed, which contaminates organic and non-GMO farmer’s crops and opens them up to abusive lawsuits. In the past two decades, Monsanto’s seed monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets.
In many cases farmers are forced to stop growing certain organic and conventional crops to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto admits to filing 144 lawsuits against America’s farmers, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts. Due to these aggressive lawsuits, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy.
Farmers need your voice today. Please spread the word.
As a small-scale vegetable farmer, I need to have all options possible to make a living - gmo-free seed, access to open-pollinated and hybrid seed, organic seed and the ability to save my own seed. Having a corporation control any of those historically vital agricultural essentials threatens my ability to produce food for my community. This is not a time to be swayed by corporate lobbyists and high-paid lawyers. Rather, it is a time to stand with America's farmers and all consumers for basic human rights and dignity, and to begin to return our food system to a human, not corporate, scale. Thank you, from Erik Sessions, Patchwork Green Farm, Decorah, Iowa