A Montrose-based coalition of organic farmers has lost its lawsuit against Monsanto and its genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Judge Naomi Buchwald dismissed Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association (OSGATA), et al. v. Monsanto on Feb. 24 in Federal District Court in Manhattan after hearing oral arguments on Jan. 31.
The suit was filed by farmers “to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed, something Monsanto has done to others in the past,” according to the website of OSGATA, the Colorado organization that brought the suit on behalf of 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations.
The plaintiffs’ lead attorney, Daniel Ravicher, issued a statement on the OSGATA website in response to the dismissal.
“While I have great respect for Judge Buchwald, her decision to deny farmers the right to seek legal protection from one of the world's foremost patent bullies is gravely disappointing,” he said. “Her belief that farmers are acting unreasonable when they stop growing certain crops to avoid being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement should their crops become contaminated maligns the intelligence and integrity of those farmers.”
According to The New York Times, Buchwald ruled that that the farmers did not have any standing for filing the suit, were not been harmed by Monsanto, and had engaged in “a transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists.”
Ravicher indicated that the group intends to appeal the decision.