Farmers lose GMO suit

Boulder Weekly Staff

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
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