Monsanto Wins Legal Case, Twirls Mustache, Cackles, Dashes Off | Squid Ink | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Farming

Monsanto Wins Legal Case, Twirls Mustache, Cackles, Dashes Off

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Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 8:28 AM

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When we hear the name "Monsanto," we often imagine a mustache-twirling villain with a velvet tongue and a heart as black as oven-burnt molasses. Perhaps it's fitting then that, in January, Natural News readers voted Monsanto -- not a man but an agribusiness giant -- the world's most evil corporation, out-eviling Halliburton, British Petroleum and the Federal Reserve.  

Monday's news will not dampen the disdain voiced by many.  A New York Federal court has booted out a lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of certified organic farmers hoping to land a blow against Monsanto's alleged habit of going after those who infringe, even accidentally, on its patents.

Here's what we understand of it: The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, along with a few other growers and organizations, don't use Monsanto's patented GMO-laced seeds. They are worried that Monsanto seed pollen will end up in their non-GMO-laced plantings and get the growers in hot water -- with themselves (when Monsanto's corn or soy cross-pollinates with theirs) and with Monsanto (when the company takes advantage of the incidental cross-pollination by suing the overalls off farmers unlucky enough to be growing corn or soy tainted with Monsanto's).

The growers were hoping the judge would protect them. The judge called the plaintiffs' claims "unsubstantiated," citing evidence that Monsanto brings an average of only 13 patent-enforcement lawsuits a year.

Monsanto may have prevailed on the legal merits of this particular case, but the company has a highly controversial record with regard to relations with small farmers, respect for heirloom seeds and environmental responsibility. Interestingly, while the anti-Monsanto vitriol piles up, we've heard the company's employee benefits are great.

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