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Indiana Farmer Takes Seed-Giant Monsanto To Supreme Court

An Indiana farmer takes his case against Monsanto seed control to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Vernon Hugh Bowman, a 75-year-old Indiana soybean farmer, accompanied by his attorney Mark Walters, walk outside the Supreme Court in Washington (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Vernon Hugh Bowman, a 75-year-old Indiana soybean farmer, accompanied by his attorney Mark Walters, walk outside the Supreme Court in Washington (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Indiana farmer Hugh Bowman had his day in court yesterday. In the US Supreme Court. Battling American ag science giant, Monsanto. Over soybeans. Farmer Bowman uses Monsanto’s genetically-engineered beans to plant his soybean crop. They’re fine with that. He pays plenty for Monsanto’s high tech beans. But farmer Bowman also planted beans he bought at the grain elevator and put in his field. Monsanto did not like that. Those are ours, they said. We own that life. Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard the case. This hour, On Point: Farmer Bowman versus Monsanto, and who owns life.

- Tom Ashbrook


Vernon Hugh Bowman, farmer sued by Monsanto.

David Savage, covers the Supreme Court for the Los Angeles Times.

Gary Truitt, host of Hoosier Ag Today.

Debbie Barker, international program director at the Center for Food Safety.

Daniel Ravicher, executive director of the Public Patent Foundation and author of an amicus brief for the case in support of Farmer Bowman. (@danravicher)

From Tom’s Reading List

Los Angeles Times “An Indiana farmer who clashed with Monsanto Co. over his replanting of its patented soybean seeds ran into steady skeptical questions Tuesday from the Supreme Court.

The justices strongly suggested that they would rule for Monsanto and decide that the company’s patent protection for its genetically modified seeds covers not just the first planting, but also seeds that are generated later.”

Time “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 this will be the case that puts it in its place. They are also hoping the court’s ruling will rein in patent law, which is increasingly being used to claim new life forms as private property.”

Christian Science Monitor “A central issue for the court is the extent that a patent holder, or the developer of a genetically modified seed, can control its use through multiple generations of seed.”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1349725293 Paul Morphy

    It is important to note that Mr. Bowman did not wish to plant Monsanto
    soy, the seed he purchased happened to contain Monsanto soy among other
    types.   This combination of perennial ownership of genetic material
    with failure by Monsanto to protect against wind-born cross
    contamination of GMOs with non-GMO types,  will, no doubt, ultimately
    lead to the entire world bowing before Monsanto to buy grain…  And
    thus Pharaoh enslaved Egypt.

    • Amanda Thompsen

      He certainly did wish to buy Monsanto seed!  He was betting on that seed being genetically modified – that was the point – he was getting the benefits of a herbicide resistant crop without paying for it – for 8 years he propagated genetically modified seed for his benefit without having to buy it while other farmers paid for the technology that Monsanto spent millions of dollars to get to the market.  

      This is not big corporate America beating up on a poor helpless farmer.  This farmer knew what he was doing.  This is about right and wrong.  Monsanto’s technologies help farmers increase yields with fewer inputs (that means fewer chemicals in our food, less contamination of our water ways and groundwater, and less of our precious water used). Fewer inputs and more yield makes money for farmers! That’s why farmers are willing to pay for it. Monsanto’s technologies are now and will continue to help farmers weather difficult environmental changes related to changing weather patterns (i.e. climate change) – drought, disease, insect resistant varieties of crops!  These seed technologies are good for farmers and good for all of us because they help to keep food and material costs down for all of us!  This guy wanted the benefits of these technologies without paying for it – that’s called stealing! 

      Lastly, farmers don’t have to buy seed from Monsanto.  Monsanto is not “enslaving” farmers.  Farmers have lots of choices from lots of seed companies.  They choose to buy seed from Monsanto because Monsanto’s seeds make them money!  They willingly sign contracts requiring them not to harvest seed in exchange for technologies in those seeds that make them money!  Honest farmers understand that Monsanto has spent millions and millions of dollars in R&D to get those technologies to market and are willing to pay the price!  This is capitalism.  And this requires patent protection to encourage continued innovation.  

      And, to your wind-born cross contamination point – this law suit has nothing to do with that.  But, apparently there are lab techniques that allow them to tell the difference between wind-born contamination and actual propagation of harvested seed. A specialist in plant genetics would have to explain that though.

      (Note: Where I say “Monsanto” in this comment, you may substitute any of the multitude of seed companies genetically modifying seed in the US today.)  

      • tunnelman

        Are you really standing up for Monsanto? It’s a free country and all, but any sort of check to their Godlike power in the seed world would be a good thing.
        You need only look up “Monsanto India farmer suicides” to get a small glimpse of how they are cornering the market on food production around the globe. They consistently and habitually place profits over ethics and humanity.
        Also, I would love for you to follow up on the comment about the supposed lab techniques that can tell the difference between wind-born contamination and actual propagation.

        • PithHelmut

          Patent law, copyright, and most laws are in need of new business models. We need a new Constitution one that recognizes the new world we live in, one that our forefathers could never have imagined. Of course our forefathers never even sought the input of our foremothers.  Our entire civilization is based on testosterone-based logic (ie: brutality and self-interest). If we look at the despots of today and of history plus the current spate of indiscriminate killers, we see that they are overwhelmingly perpetrated by men. And yet women have equal access to guns. This is pivotal because if the shoe were on the other foot, don’t you know men would certainly be touting their superiority over such an attribute. 

        • jckamalay

          Think about genetics: 1. windborne pollen would have a far smaller chance to fertilize your planted crop than pollen from that same plant so that the percentage of grain with the indicator gene would be very low: inadvertent and not a violation. 2. such grain would be “hemizygous” for the indicator gene (only one copy and no second allele):
          not exactly easy to detect but different from a “homozygous” plant (one with two copies of the gene) and certainly possible to detect with the right techniques. In this case farmer Bowman knew exactly what he was doing – thought he would game the system and get around his stewardship agreement by buying grain from an elevator rather than buying seed for his initial investment. A large proportion of the soybean crop from any grain elevator carries the gene he wanted because a lot of producers use it. In the first year he used the herbicide glyphosate to kill any plants that did not carry the resistance gene then saved seeds from the surviving plants to increase the amount of transgenic seed for his next planting. The easy way to detect someone using pirated seed is when they don’t buy any glyphosate-resistant seed but they use lots of the herbicide.

      • Jasoturner

        I’m not sure this is strictly correct.  Mr. Bowman’s first planting was official Monsanto-engineered seed.  He tried to save money on his second planting by buying from a local grain supplier (at least, according to the LA Times.)  This grain contained a mix of seed, including Monsanto-engineered.  It is unclear whether this is due to cross pollination, or some improper or inadvertent acquisition of Monsanto seed by the local supplier.

        I think you miss-characterize the farmer when you say he was unwilling to pay for Monsanto seed – he did on his first planting – or that he necessarily could know (or knew) that the local seed would contain Monsanto engineered seed in it.

        Given these ambiguities, it strike me that it is premature to judge this either way.  If the farmer KNEW for certain that he could get engineered seed on the cheap, that’s one thing.  If this is cross-pollinated seed, it’s another.  And if it’s purebred Monsanto-engineered, the local supplier chain needs to looked into.

        The cross-pollination case would be the most interesting of the three options, and the court decision could be enormously far reaching.  In that instance, my hope would be that the court rule for Mr. Bowman.  But with this court, I would not necessarily expect such a ruling.

        • 1Brett1

          This is indeed an interesting case that is not clear cut…I wonder if ultimately he will be held accountable for patent infringement, use violations, etc., or if the local grain supplier was the one in “violation.” If it turns out that his “unauthorized” use of Monsanto seed is by way of inadvertent cross-pollination, I don’t see how Monsanto a) could have much of a leg to stand on and b) this might just bring the problem of seed contamination into the foreground for debate and raised awareness.

      • 1Brett1

        “…farmers don’t have to buy seed from Monsanto.  Monsanto is not “enslaving” farmers.”

        Well, actually, in many respects, yes, Monsanto (as well as other seed/pesticide companies) is enslaving farmers. If a commercial farm wishes to sell their crops to a large wholesaler, they indeed HAVE to use seeds by these large chemical companies (the chemical companies have agreements with large purchasers that the purchasers will ONLY buy from growers who use the chemical companies’ seeds). 

        • Laura Frost

          Where did you hear this ridiculous rumor, NatureNews.com, or the CFS?  Please cite a credible source of information to substantiate your claim, because the farmers I know have no knowledge of this restriction. 

          • 1Brett1

            It’s not a ridiculous rumor…Well, if you’re talking about small family-run farms who only sell to farmers markets, independent grocery stores, niche organic markets, etc., or are involved with CSAs, and so on, then, no, what I stated is not true for them. However, large commercial, agribusiness farms (the ones that supply large purchasers, e.g., national grocery stores, fast-food corporations, or national restaurant franchises, then the commercial farms most certainly have to comply with use of seeds, fertilizers, etc., from companies like Monsanto.

            For example, Monsanto goes to McDonalds (the largest purchaser of potatoes world wide–and they only use one kind of potato to make their fries) or to Wal*Mart, or TGIF, or Subway, etc. They (Monsanto) have agreements with these large purchasers that the purchasers will only buy from large commercial farms that use Monsanto seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, etc. (Monsanto also forces the farms to adhere to their prescribed schedule of pesticide control, fertilizer application, and proper use of their seeds). Monsanto also has exclusive contracts with these large commercial farms. Now, the farm has to keep their yields at such a high rate, they will lose money if their yields fall below 98%. If the farms do not honor their contracts with Monsanto (they decide not to use Monsanto’s seeds, pesticides or fertilizers, or even if the farms do not adhere to Monsanto’s absolute methods of pesticide and fertilizer application) then Monsanto sues the farms for not honoring their contract. Monsanto then notifies the large purchasers and the purchasers will not buy from the farmers if they haven’t honored their contracts with Monsanto, putting the farms out of business. Monsanto even sends undercover inspectors to farms to ensure their contracts are being honored.

            Michael Pollan has investigated and reported on these agribusiness practices in a number of his books, but he’s not the only one. 

            I only purchase my fruit and vegetables from farmers markets and small, independently-owned markets and farms, and I would like to see large commercial farms go out of business. I am also an avid home gardner. Be that as it may, commercial agribusiness isn’t going anywhere, and the more these large chemical companies and large, commercial farms control the lion’s share of the farming industry, then agribusiness will be beholden to companies like Monsanto; it’s a fact. 

            Many consumers don’t have access to food that isn’t commercially grown; many farms can not sustain themselves selling only to farmers markets or niche restaurants; many communities don’t have CSAs as a choice, and so on….I don’t know, you connect the dots.

            If you’ve ever bought a vegetable from Wal*Mart, then you have bought something that comes from a Monsanto seed, fertilized by Monsanto fertilizer and has been sprayed by Monsanto pesticides. If you’ve ever eaten an order of McDonald’s fries, then you have the supported Monsanto corporation…

            If you know farmers, and they aren’t bound by these types of contracts, then they are selling to regional grocery stores, local restaurants or farmers markets only. That’s a great thing (and I’d like to see more of this), and lots of my friends are farmers, as well, but these farmers do not represent the majority of farms that supply the nation’s food; unfortunately, they just don’t.

          • 1Brett1

            Know a lot of commercial farmers do you? If so, to whom do they sell their crops? (Selling a few baskets of produce at the farmer’s market or to the local health food store doesn’t count.) See my comment below. 

            Frankly, you don’t seem to believe anything regarding corruption of corporate America (you must be a neo-libertarian type), and you haven’t offered any comment of your own. You just seem to slam other comments and dismiss what they say without any refutation based on any factual information of your own…seems rather cheap and sophomoric. 

      • nj_v2

        Amanda proffers “Monsanto’s technologies help farmers increase yields with fewer inputs (that means fewer chemicals in our food, less contamination of our water ways and groundwater, and less of our precious water used).”

        This is horse excrement.

        What’s the pay these days for shilling online discussion forums?

  • donniethebrasco

    If Mr. Bowman did not buy seed from Monsanto, he should not be beholden to a contract from Monsanto.  If Monsanto seed is in a grain elevator, they should have a contract with the grain elevator to not resell their seed for planting.

    If neither Mr. Bowman or the grain elevator do not have a contract with Monsanto, they should not have to obey their patent.

    The seed in the grain elevator has non-Monsanto seed; another reason why Mr. Bowman should not be beholden to Monsanto’s patent.

    If Monsanto where to supply the grain elevator with a method of separating their seed and pay for them to separate it, then they could avoid selling to farmers who want to plant their seed.

    If Monsanto prevails, they essentially own all seed of plants they hold patents in.  If you cannot plan seed without paying Monsanto, they own all seed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647992960 Larry Pines

    I don’t understand.

    Is Monsanto suing over ‘patent infringement’ or ‘theft of service’? Seems to me Mr Bowman is merely USING seed he already owned (bought from Monsanto) due to the original seed propagating just as non-GMO seed has for centuries.

    Ergo: No claim of ‘theft of service’ can be made.

    If one were to buy GMO salmon, from whomever created them, to ‘farm’ on a ‘fish farm’ and said salmon reproduced he is legally entitled to sell the offspring as well.

    I highly doubt Mr Bowman is genetically altering the seed purchased from Monsanto (IS he?) which WOULD qualify Monsanto’s suit IF Bowman is using/selling the newly resultant seed – only if he has NOT altered/improved the original design sufficiently to add new ‘claims’.

    The onus is on Monsanto to create their seed such that it produces only sterile seed. If their incompetence (assuming corporate ordered GMO seed NOT reproduce) resulted in soy seed which CAN provide seed for another planting – Monsanto’s board need punish THEIR employees – not Mr Bowman.

    As for Monsanto seed included in the seed purchase – the onus falls to someone in the distribution chain for failure to ensure Monsanto’s seed was NOT included in Bowman’s purchase.

    BTW: If, as is alluded, the jurists display even a HINT of partiality – they’d be in-violation of 28 USC Sec 453 ‘Oaths of Justices and Judges’ and subject to charges of misconduct and removal.

    Point – Bowman.

  • 1Brett1

    As much as I hate Monsanto and their legal right to own ALL of their genetically modified seeds, which are considered their “intellectual property,” the farmer deliberately/wittingly violated his agreement with Monsanto. He chose to do business with Monsanto but then did not honor his contract obligations to them. He knew what he was doing and will lose his case.

    On the other hand Monsanto has engaged in bullying behavior for far too long. They send Pinkerton-style thugs to farms to make sure no genetically modified seeds are being saved; they force farmers to follow their pesticide schedules and dosages. If a farm does not do “business” the way they want it to, they pretty much ruin the farm by blocking them from selling their yield. 

    The larger issue with farmers not being allowed to save seeds has more to do with the ancient practice of seed saving to keep strains of plants strong. Saving genetically modified seeds only really serves to weaken a variety of plants over time. Genetically modified seeds also ruin the delicate ecosystem in so many subtle ways that will have dire consequences over time. 

    Farmers who chose not to have contracts with companies like Monsanto are in effect putting themselves out of business because the large pesticide/seed companies have tight controls over agribusiness; any non-players, so to speak, can not sell their crops if they don’t have contracts with companies like Monsanto. Only farmers’ markets and small grocery stores will buy from growers who are not part of the huge agribusiness model. The only way to get around this legal thuggery by companies like Monsanto is to break up large, commercial farms and go back to family-run small farms for the nation’s food. That would mean a fundamental change in the way we feed our nation, and food prices would greatly increase. I, for one, wouldn’t mind; I think our food is too cheap, anyway, and the process that brings food to our tables is a long, arduous one.

    We should also end farm subsidies; these, in effect, provide government- sponsored, subsidized support to companies like Monsanto, and that is probably the most bitter pill of all…


    • Ray in VT

      I have agree with your statement about Monsanto being able to control replanting of their seeds and such, as long as that provision is known to the farmer upfront.  What concerns me more is that agribusiness companies have gone after farmers when plants grown from their seeds have naturally pollinated with the crops of other farmers that did not buy those seeds, as well as the practice of companies attempting to patent plant/seed lines in other parts of the world that have been developed and cultivated locally for generations.

      • 1Brett1

        I agree and find the ways in which agribusiness companies go after farmers are, for lack of a better word, thuggish (ostensibly because companies like Monsanto don’t like the idea of a farmer having any success or coming up with any good strain of seed without the company’s desires to make money from the farmer)!

  • Rich11

    What about where Monsanto seed blows into a field where the farmer is NOT using their seed? They’ve sued these poor SMALL FARMERS! Monsanto should be sued for CONTAMINATING the small farmer’s crop. AGAIN – it’s the government STANDING UP FOR BIG COMPANIES and THE RICH!!!!That’s why NO WALL STREETERS or BIG BANKERS have gone to jail FOR COLLAPSING THE WORLD ECONOMY – it’s still having a bad effect on my 3 college graduate sons???? These supposed leaders have CREATED THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE and they try to sell it as the AMERICAN DREAM???? Nobody I know would call it a DREAM – they call it what it is – A NIGHTMARE!!!!

    • Laura Frost

      Rich11, an argumentum ad passiones is no way to win a debate.  Reasonable people don’t read posts with all-caps words or four punctuation marks per sentence. 

  • http://twitter.com/mem_somerville mem_somerville

    As amusing as I think it is that foodies are eager for a farmer to grow GMOs without restrictions (no refuge requirement, no paper trail), it’s just another example of them being unable to win with the food fears and trying to use the courts to rally their troops. They get really bad legal advice on what to take to court though. That other lawsuit by organic farmers was laughed out of court. This didn’t get a much better reception it seems. A sad waste of time and resources on stunts.

    But we looked at some of the details of this case here: http://www.biofortified.org/2013/02/bowman-v-monsanto/ The grain elevator is not supposed to sell these and seed for planting, and Bowman knew it. He also deliberately sprayed with the Roundup he really likes (he likes these GMOs, in fact). It was a deliberate attempt to use a product he desired but didn’t want to pay for.

    It’s fascinating to watch people twist him into their hero: he’s a huge fan of GMOs who wants to grow them without restrictions. I really never thought foodies would align with that–but there you have it.


  • Shag_Wevera

    Is his torso disproportionately large or is his head disproportionately tiny?

    • Jasoturner

      Maybe a diet of Monsanto-engineered soy working it’s magic?

  • Kyle

    Its unfortunate that such an apparently thin case is headed to the supreme court.  I would like to see Monsanto counter sued for some of the cases against individuals who didn’t even steal the seed, just had it fertilized by the wind and a neighbor’s field

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Good point.  I find it incredible this kind of harassment could happen.   You’d think the defendant could counter-sue Monsanto for polluting his crop. 

  • adks12020

    I’m haven’t been following this very closely so I have a question.  Is it Monsanto’s contention that they cannot save seed or collect seed from a previous crop? Are farmer’s being forced to buy new seed every year if they choose to buy Monsanto seed? I only ask because that seems counter to the entire history of farming.

    Also, how can Monsanto expect to keep a handle on “intellectual property” when it’s a living thing that regenerates on it’s own?

    Again, I’ve only read a few stories about this so I’m not fully in the loop. I look forward to the show.

    • MrNutso

      Farmers who use Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soy seed must sign a contract that they will purchase new seed every year and promise not to save seeds from the previous crop.  What Mr. Bowman did was purchase seed from a grain elevator that contained a mix of seeds including Roundup Ready for a second late season planting.  The expectation was  there would be sufficient Roundup Ready seeds in the mix to resist his application of Roundup, which there were.  The seed in question is typically used for animal feed, food or industry.

      The case is about whether Monsanto’s patent extends to subsequent generation’s of seeds purchased on the open market.

      The bigger issue is strangling of certain sectors of the economy by patent owners with Agribusiness and technology being two of the biggest culprits.

  • ccbard

     The flip side to a court decision in Monsanto’s favor should be unmitigated responsibility for damage to the environment, such a with Monsanto’s MON810, a genetically-modified corn with  insecticide, that, along with similar products, is being linked to widespread death of honeybees.

  • alangig

    good on you, thank god somebody has some cojones!

  • alangig

    The EU and the USA are thinking of signing a Free Trade deal, a major obstacle, is the health and quality of US food which the European consumer will have to consume and companies like Monsanto will gain control of the european food chain 

    • PithHelmut

      Anti-trust much?

  • 1Brett1

    It is interesting and gratifying that folks we often see on this forum (who often disagree, sometimes vehemently) are in relatively close agreement on this issue. 

    • PithHelmut

      So please note next time we hear politicians say that the people of America want this or that, it is only because that serves their agenda. When the people of America say they want GMO’s labelled, the politicians are mum.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Monsanto is positioning themselves for the future. The current roundup ready soybean they sell is going off patent in 2014. Meaning that what this farmer is doing will be legal for everyone. For this strain of seed.

    Except –

    Monsanto has patented a “new” roundup ready soybean -  I expect when they win they will go back to their practice of suing farmers inadvertently using any of this new seed in their crops unless they have signed up and are paying Monsanto. Which will likely happen to anyone buying seeds from alternate sources.

  • donniethebrasco

    If you want to plant a flower, you have to pay Monsanto.

  • donniethebrasco

    Get me the farmer, I’ll show you the crime.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    If they wanted to protect their Patent, they should have destroyed their “product” prior to it falling into the wrong hands.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Betcha anything there’s lots of this going on – it’s just that Bowman said he was doing it. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    If they lost, I wonder if Monsanto would bring back their “terminator” gene? And make it so no second generation seed is viable?

  • anna karina johansen

    Not all farmers love monsanto!  Not ones that are practicing sustainable farming and concerned about GMOs and public health.

  • DeJay79

    Plants are not computer software!
    You go Vernon Hugh Bowman.
    Monsanto is just looking to own our food industry. Back off!!

  • PithHelmut

    Hugh Bowman if you are reading this – I salute you. What can we do to help you?  How about starting a facebook page called Farmer Hugh Bowman and let’s see what we can do as a united front against this evil force.

  • Ray in VT

    What is the liability of the owner of the elevator selling the seed?

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    DNA is not “magical”.

    And we already have super-weeds that are immune to Roundup.  Evolution has already “magically” side-stepped this GMO. 

    Monsanto should not be handed a monopoly.  And they should be required to prove the long term safety of eating this and all other genetically modified foods *before* they sell any!


    • NrthOfTheBorder

      If GMO crops were harmful, we’d all be dead by now. But I hear you… and I’ll bet nobody really knows what the long-term impact is on us, and the environment. 

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Cancer takes many years or decades to show up.  Why mess with the things we put into our bodies?

        Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are nasty and rob us of the full nutrition – there is a reason that organic food grown in season tastes better.  It is better for you.


  • Joseph_Wisconsin

    Interesting legal issues raised here.  Given the current makeup of the Supreme Court though, Mr Bowman does not have a chance. Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito [and that's five] whatever the wealthy and corporations want they will find the reasoning to give to them. 

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Oh! Don’t you know? Corporations are our salvation – the bigger, the more omniscient, the better.

      Too many SC justices do not live, and do not come from,  lives as common Americans.  The live in ivory towers and judge accordingly. 

  • pkyzivat

    There are a couple of issues that I am not hearing mentioned, that to me seem key:

    1) When the farmer buys the official patented seed it comes in bags that are identified as such. But in this case the farmer bought something that was not marked. Who has the responsibility to identify that these are patented seeds? It doesn’t seem that this should be the responsibility of the farmer. I doubt that it is easy to distinguish these. 

    2) Using the patented seed as intended requires “copying” the seed. It
    is the copies of the seed that have value, for making soy products. So
    it seems Monsanto has given permission to “copy” the seed. They don’t
    want to prevent copying – just a particular use of the copies. This goes back to (1): If it is valid to restrict the kinds of use of the copies, then the violator is the farmer who sold the 2nd generation seeds for use as seed.

    • nj_v2

      Re number 2: In this context, copying the seed would require that the crop planted with the patented seed would have to come to maturity (set and produce seed).

      In the interview with Mr. Bowman, it sounded like he might have been using this particular crop as a temporary or cover crop. It’s not clear to me that he grew the crop to maturity and harvested the seed.

      If that’s the case, he didn’t copy or reproduce the patented product.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Did I hear that the seeds in question in this case were a mix    of modified and not modified?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Does anyone remember when Monsanto successfully sued farmers for infringing their patent rights because Roundup ready pollen blew onto the farmers fields and pollinated their non-Monsanto plants?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=923305 John D’Agostino

    Would a patent on a genetically engineered bean expire, similarly to a drug? Generic brands of the crop could then be produced.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Definitely – however – if Monsanto wins this case, any amount of contamination from seed still under patent will be be justification to go after the farmers – and the generic seed company. Unless they’ve all signed agreements with Monsanto and paid their fees, of course.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Funny no one is mentioning most 1st generation round up ready patents are expiring or are about to.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    The Question: Can you be convicted of Grand Theft if you never intentionally stole anything?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Intent is irrelevant – as long as a guilty verdict is returned, you’re guilty.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        You’re absolutely right, the distinction between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Degrees also should have occurred to me. In truth, the comment was pretty much irrelevant to this discussion. That’s what I get for letting my fingers get ahead of my brain.
        Thanks for setting me straight, no I’m not being sarcastic.

  • nj_v2

    A company as abusive as Monsanto deserves prosecution on a number of grounds. Too bad this case doesn’t really address some of the larger issues involved with patenting life forms, the ramifications of releasing genetically engineered organisms into the wider environment, Monsanto’s thuggish behavior, etc.

    Still, good on Mr. Bowman for challenging this nefarious company.

    It can’t be inexpensive for him to do this. Is there a legal fund anywhere to support him?

  • DennisWNY

    Mr. Bowman should be correct.  However the power of the agri-business will probably win out.  For this I feel for Mr. Bowman.  The greater issue is Monsanto and their creation of genetically modified seeds !!!!  The fact they put Roundup in the seeds is scary.  That means we have the disctinct possibility of ingesting poison.  also, Genetically modified seeds, are created so that agri-business controls the seed market.  pure or natural seeds have the capability to re-produce year after year.  genetically modified seeds only have a one season life span.  This is wrong !!!  This should be the REAL discussion!!!!

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      I surely hope Monsanto won’t be announcing that the GMO switch to turn off the capacity of an organism to reproduce has jumped ship as it were, and is now at large in the wild. 

      This too-hard-to-contemplate-scenario would make the BP “we can’t stop it” oil spill a minor footnote among environmental catastrophes. 

      Please assure me I have nothing to worry about. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZQERJ4JYMEDSR6LJ2U752CJRME Joel hanover

    I cant copy software….Monsanto should prevent 2nd generation seed from germinating.  

  • PithHelmut

    Industrial hemp conditions soil, absorbs mercury, pesticides and heavy metals (without being adversely affected) and can be used to make paper, textiles, clothing, biofuel, bioplastics and a lot more. Henry Ford made car bodies from it – eight times stronger than steel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGZEMwMx2vk

    The cotton industry uses 50% or so of the world’s pesticides yet industrial hemp needs no pesticides. It takes one acre of hemp to four acres of trees to make paper and that is within one season vs ten or fifteen years to grow the trees and no dioxins are needed for hemp paper. Imagine what hemp can do to sequester carbon. Banning hemp is equivalent to criminality. Please find out about hemp:: http://www.hempfarm.org/

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      No shortage of fear and stupidity when it comes to the cultivation of industrial hemp in the US. 

    • JGC

      Yeah, I read that the U.S. is the largest user of hemp in the world, and yet it against federal law to grow it here. This really does need to be addressed; it is shutting our farmers out of a lucrative and useful crop.

  • AC

    i thought the trend was heading towards smaller, local farms run by all the under-employed 20-30 year olds. is that not trending anymore?

  • arydberg

    Patents should not apply to life process.    The court case that allowed this was in error.   If i develop a new breed of  dog can i patent it and own all sucessive generations of dogs that are born from this parent regardless of who buys, cares for, and raises  the animals?


    • DeJay79


      • arydberg

        Not only that but Clarence Thomas  ruled on the first case with Monsanto after spending 3 years working for Monsanto.   

  • Rhonda Rothrock

    As Tunnelman mentions, this is not just a U.S. problem, this is global and is happening in poor, third-world countries as well.  As also mentioned by some others, thru cross-pollination, Monsanto’s GMOs are polluting products being grown by farmers not using Monsanto products.  This could include organic farmed products…with Monsanto then sueing these farmers if the farmer’s product shows signs of Monsanto GMO as a result of unintended crop cross-pollination.  This might not be the exact subject of this lawsuit but it definitely relates.  This all have very huge, very negative, implications, on many levels.

  • monicaroland

    Help us understand a.) why the seed is in elevators; b.) what it’s usually sold for, such as cattle feed(?); and c.) how does Monsanto know which seeds are in these elevators.  Thanks.

  • Kyle

    I think the key here is not that he planted roundup ready seeds, but that he obtained the seed from a grain elevator where neither he nor the elevator owner was notified that the seeds were Monsanto patented.

  • JennaJennaeight

    The hypocrisy of a powerful corporation’s implying Mr. Bowman is exploiting a loophole that they themselves have planted (pun intended) by not separating their seeds from the rest in the elevator or making it explicit to the farmers that this is what is done?

  • owenmystic1

    This is easy.  Monsanto should design a product that doesn’t replicate rather than distribute an inadequately altered life form.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spence-Blakely/1251757037 Spence Blakely

      Or patented replicas should apply to man-made copies, not those made by nature.

  • JGC

    “Corporations are people, too, my friend.”

    • DeJay79

       I Hate that ruling too (too implies that the supreme court will get this one wrong also)

    • nj_v2

      Get involved here:


      Corporations are not people. Money is not speech.

  • JGC

    I don’t know very much about this subject so I really appreciate all the great guests that were booked today, including hearing the actual farmer involved, Mr. Bowman, in his own words.

  • nj_v2

    Did Mr. Bowman actually grow the crop he planted with patented Monsanto seed mixed into the grain-elevator crop to maturity?

    As i understand it, simply growing the seed wouldn’t infringe the patent; it would have to be copied or reproduced.

    If the crop was cut or harvested before it matured and set seed, the original seed would not have been copied.

    This seems like an important point. Could the panelists be asked about this?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Sad thing about being forced to buy Roundup ready seeds – with the increasing propagation of Roundup ready weeds, the extra cost and restrictions are not going to buy farmers anything in the next  few years.

  • J__o__h__n

    Why not just charge more for Round Up instead of patenting genes?  Don’t the seeds require it to work?

  • George Birthisel

    I knew an organic  farmer (with a small family farm) in Iowa who was winding down seed operations and moving into livestock only BECAUSE Monsanto was moving to town, and the cross-pollination could ruin them.  If seeds blow over into the organic field, not only is the organic crop ruined, but Monsanto can SUE the small farm for patent infringement.  It hardly matters who would win such a suit – it is not something a small family farm has the resources to fight in any case.

  • adks12020

    The attorney supporting Monsanto’s argument just said that when the patent expires for the current generation farmers will be able to use it without paying them anything.  That would be great but what are the chances that seed will continue to be sold once Monsanto’s new generation of seed is introduced? I have to think those chances are mighty slim. They are probably already preparing to eliminate the current seed from the market and introduce another patent protected seed to replace it.

  • M K

    WRT the current caller and the implied “generosity” of Monsanto to future generations: I presume what will happen after 2014 is they will change the round-up formula and the grain, make the patent expired grain useless.

  • Peter Van Erp

    How could this effect Monsanto’s responsibility for the “superweeds” which have evolved due to the dominant use of Roundup Ready seeds?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=777331562 Shannon Duncan

    Even though Monsanto’s patent runs out next year, it won’t matter. Super weeds that are resistant to RoundUp already exist, so the technology will be obsolete. 

    Has anyone talked about the environmental impact of these seeds? They allow farmers to widely use pesticides (and they’ve had to use more and more as weeds become resistant), which leads to massive environmental pollution of soil and water. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Wait until patent law gets changed like copyright laws have – corporations will own exclusive rights for generations.

  • J__o__h__n

    Wouldn’t it be great if Monsanto came up with seeds that look like Mickey Mouse?  Imagine the lawsuit!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=731425128 Emilie Schuler

    The biggest issue I see with this is that unlike computer software or pharmaceuticals, seeds are self-replicating. Seeds can blow in the wind, or cross pollinate with other cultivars. If a farmers grows and saves his own non-Monsanto seed, but pollen from nearby farms, or seeds carried by birds, end up in his field, suddenly Monsanto can sue him for copyright infringement.

    I am so saddened that our country’s highest court can’t see how inequitable this is. 

  • DebinProvidence

    The woman who called in was correct.  Monsanto is trying to control the food supply.  Seeds that do not regenerate create a market for crop and food at the very source.  It is not acceptable to control the food supply in this way.  Their seed will eventually overwhelm the natural crop seed and then we are all up the creek without a paddle.  Experimentation is fine. Creating a non-germinating food supply that is owned by a corporation is not.  Humans developed agriculture and have always modified both plants and animals.  Creating a situation where we cannot survive without lab produced seed source because of non-germination genetic manipulation is self defeating to humans around the world.  It is only helpful to the corporation that controls the seed, and the people in that corporation who are doing this knowingly for salary are liable.  I don’t need to make an ethical judgement about those individuals.  They know exactly what they are doing. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191774051 Chris Linn

    Monsanto guy says that when the patent runs out in 2014, folks will be
    able to use the Roundup seed without royalty… well what will happen is
    that Monsanto will just won’t make the old Roundup anymore.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Roundup went off patent a long time ago – Monsanto’s big earners now are the seeds.

  • DeJay79

    it is not technology!!!!! Its a plant 

  • hennorama

    What happens to GM seeds in subsequent generations?  There is some level of natural selection and mutation, so what would happen if the modified genes in GM seeds mutate?  Would the patent still apply?

    Keep in mind also that not all seeds are GM seeds, so there would be some dilution of the GM traits if farmers planted a random seed sample taken from a grain elevator, as Mr., Bowman did in this case.  Let’s say the sample contains 90% GM seed, and in subsequent years, the farmer only planted seed from the crop harvested, without buying any new seed.

    Soybeans are self-pollinating, so there is some cross-pollination in the field.  How many generations would have to pass so that the GM trait is in less than half of the seed?  If there is perfect 90% interbreeding as a result of cross-pollination, only 7 generations are needed.

    Would Monsanto still have rights to such seeds?

  • JGC

    Superweeds – sounds like Monsanto is driving the soybean crops to an analogous situation with superbugs and increasing resistance to antibiotics. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      As long as they stay one step ahead of the disaster they are creating, they make big bucks.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Super-Weeds emerged as Nature’s response to Round-Up Ready I. What will Round-Up Ready II bring us? Super-Duper Weeds? Why don’t we ever pay attention to the unintended consequences when they play out right before our eyes?

    • DeJay79

       becuase the intended consequences (Lots of money) are too loud. sad but true

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=731425128 Emilie Schuler

    In the future, if we’re able to genetically engineer our children, will the company who owns the patent for that process own our children? And when they want to reproduce themselves, will they have to go back and pay the old company? It’s absurd to be able to patent life… 

  • http://twitter.com/Policy_Wonk Kevin Soubly

    Tom, what concerns me is the precedent that this case sets as to genetic sequence ownership rights over multiple generations.

    Let’s say the Supreme Court rules in favor of Monsanto, ruling that subsequent generations of patented genes are protected through second and third (and so-on) generations. What’s to say that genetically engineered animals won’t be held to the same standard? What if those GE animals then reproduce? Do biotech companies have ownership rights over animal offspring?

    What’s to say that human genes patented in the name of disease research won’t also be restricted by law? What if humans with those patented genes reproduce? Under the potential precedent, Monsanto or similar biotech companies would own them … or us.

    • Tyranipocrit

       well said–so im gonna say it again.

  • ericd725

    whats to stop a terrorist from developing a roundup resistance weed.

    • nj_v2

      No terrorist necessary. Plants develop herbicide resistance all by themselves.

  • Joel Thomas

    If Monsanto invents a baby with purple eyes, and I buy the “seed”, will Monsanto own my grandchildren?

    • DeJay79

       only if you use the advantage gained by technology such as have your grandchild married to wealthy person because of the attractive purple eyes.

      just sick to think about

  • nj_v2

    Whoa, guest Dan (i believe) re. knowing what GMO products may be contained in food products: “consumers need to educate themselves.”

    Under current law, consumers can’t possibly know. There’s no national disclosure or labeling law for GMO ingredients. The ballot question in California last fall requiring GMO labeling was defeated by massive spending from industrial agriculture, including some so-called “organic” ones.

    • Sy2502

      Yes I am sure every California voter that voted against that proposition received a big fat Monsanto check in the mail. Looks like I was the only one who didn’t.

      • Tyranipocrit

         thank you for destroying the planet and killing my civil rights.  Thank you for handing over more control of our world food to one corporation and the aristocracy.  You represent evil in all its splendor.  Thanks again.

  • brotherjol

    Doesn’t it seem telling that all callers who are farmers are against Monsanto?  Wouldn’t one think farmers would like Monsanto?  And that we are only hearing from farmers who are not in support of their seed supplier, perhaps this absence speaks a loud (and obvious) message.  

    • Sy2502

      Maybe because the farmers want their cake and eat it too, that is get the seeds for the crops they want, but don’t want to pay their dues? 

  • ericd725

    sounds like “napster” again

    • DeJay79

       only incredibly more important because its our food not just pirated music.

    • StilllHere

      a victimless crime, right?

  • burroak

    A David verse Goliath; what and how does this story showcase the small American farmer’s plight alongside and against giant corporations?  

  • http://www.facebook.com/carla.measercostamagna Carla Measer-Costamagna

    If you are touched by this story. If you are interested in making a difference help to stop Monsanto’s greed and poisoning of our natural crops, there might be something you can do. Please join your local “Free GMO” chapter. Saturday, February 23 there will be a Buffalo Free GMO meeting at at 1:30pm at Panera Bread on Niagara Falls Blvd. in Amherst. Our groups primary mission is to educate others in our community about
    GMO’s and the potential hazards they may cause. We are concerned
    citizens who feel we have the right to proper labeling of our foods and
    will back all legislation involved in this effort.

    • brotherjol

      Not sure if it will help, but I just email contacted Elizabeth Warren: 
      Dear Elizabeth, Two terse points: 1. Kudos on holding bank regulators accountable last week…keep it up please.  One of the (many) reasons I was excited to support your campaign was because I believed you would ruffle feathers that needed ruffling in the name of justice and transparency, in favor of the citizen. 2. Please consider moving legislation forward that would mandate GMO labeling on foods. You will likely meet much resistance from the incredibly well funded industrial agriculture companies. Please fight for our consumer rights.  Thank you sincerely, 

  • PithHelmut

    At the hazard of having put several comments up here, I want to thank Tom Ashbrook for bringing this very important issue into the spotlight as he does with many issues and which is so rare in today’s media. I tip my hat to you sir!

  • starrypinewoods

    As an organic farmer who celebrates biodiversity, my concern is not only this case, but the cases to come. The diversity of seeds is going quickly downhill, and if Monsanto continues to “own” Life, how soon is it before there are no more than a few varieties of seeds available to the agricultural world??

    • Sy2502

      I appreciate your concern about biodiversity, which is why I hope there will continue to be small farmers like you that keep “boutique” crops alive.
      Nevertheless, people have to eat, and the best way to feed people at low cost is to choose the crops that will work best for the job: high crop yield, resistance to pests and disease, less water requirements, etc. 
      There are 2 faces of this coin, each has merit, but you’ll excuse me if I care more about kids being fed than I do for some obscure variety of tomato.

      • Tyranipocrit

         puppet.  you are wrong.  We do NOT need GMO to feed the world.  You are wrong and make me sick.

        • Sy2502

          Is this all you have in reply? Insults? Grow a brain.

          • Tyranipocrit

            how does one “grow” a brain? is that how you got yours? i din not insult anyone. i dont appreciate lying corporations poisoning my planet my body–or you.

          • Sy2502

            I have repeatedly asked you to provide evidence that GMO is poisonous. I am still waiting.

        • Sy2502

          Your insulting comment has been reported.

          • Tyranipocrit

            oh no i can come back to the playground–oyu so mean big bully–im telling my mamma

          • Tyranipocrit

            so its true–you do believe in a police state. do you idolize Fascism? I’ll be off to the gas chambers by my shirt collar soon probably…bye cruel world. Farewell.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        There are more than two faces to this coin. I think you’re oversimplifying things, and terms like about “kids being fed” and “obscure variety of tomato” are telling.

  • nj_v2

    Wow, one of the guests Mr Noonan (?) just said that if Mr. Bowman had not used RoundUp™ on his crop, Monsanto would have no case.

    The active herbicidal ingredient in RoundUp is glyphosate. If Mr Bowman had used a generic formulation of glyphosate, would Monsanto have had no case?

    Oops, show just ended, we’ll never get an answer…

    • KenElwell

      I didn’t hear the show, but thought the same thing last night while listening to another report on the case. What if Mr. Bowman did NOT use Roundup (or a substitute? is there one??) on this crop? What if he was not exploiting the Roundup-Ready attributes of the second generation seed?

  • ericd725

    so what happens when the government lets us keep all the guns we want, but doesn’t allow anyone without a membership card buy food

  • Ken Minck

    Hi, I think the real point here was missed….the grain elevator operator does not sign a contract like the farmer signs. (not to save seeds)  The elevator operator could sell his seeds to anyone.  If the farmer desires to use those seeds (with RR resistance or not) its his call.

  • JGC

    Couldn’t Monsanto devise a seedless variety of soybeans, you know, just like seedless watermelon.  You get the seed from the company, grow the crop, but no second generation is produced from the crop. That seems like it would solve a lot of problems, including cross contamination with the crops of neighboring organic farmers. There must be a reason why they haven’t (been able?) to do this.

    • Anna French

      Soybeans ARE seeds.  It would not be possible to create a seedless variety.  Monsanto and GMOs should be outlawed.  They are wrecking the environment, causing cancer and are just not the way nature intended things to be.  It is heartening to see more people who are aware that eating local organic food from ones own garden, or the farms of friends and neighbors is cheaper and healthier in the long run.  Saying ‘no’ to agrogiants like Monsanto is one way to help rebuild the health and community values of our nation.  

      • Sy2502

        There is no evidence of any kind that GMOs cause health problems. If you have actual scientific studies instead of ignorant fear mongering, bring it to the table, but don’t spread baseless accusations.

        • http://twitter.com/kreativekonnect Karen Kapnick

           There were no studies done so there’s nothing to prove either way!

          • Sy2502

            Exactly! But the allegation here is that there is such a thing as “roid rage” and those who make the claim have the burden of proof it exists.

        • Tyranipocrit

           I’m sorry but there is proof–watch Panacea or Poisson to get started.  Kidney failure i believe is one ill effect.  Why do you think Europe bans it?  For fun?  its not good science–so it is banned.  The science is falsified by Monsanto. And plenty of studies show that is harmful.  look it up.  Im not your encyclopedia.  iI’m not going to do the research for you or write you dissertation.  Go look it up, before you start evangelizing for a corporation who only cares about profit and world domination.  What is your incentive for protecting them?

          You people that are so adamant about defending such ludicrous poppycock at really no different than stodgy old men and their grandchirren who refuse to acknowledge that black people are human or women are human or gays ore human or war is bad or torture is wrong or that the earth really is vital to our survival.  You just don’t like to challenge power do you?  Just like to submit and be dominated.

          yes Mr President Yes Mr President you are my king and master Mr President.  hail tot he President!

          The Monsanto question is really a question of civil rights and class warfare.

      • DeJay79

         “There is no evidence of any kind that GMOs cause health problems.”

        Because studies have been done and Monsanto’s does not want them done either.

        Just because there is not a “study” that show ill effect of a product does not mean that the product is safe. These GMOs have been forced on the population with very very little to no way for us as consumers to avoid them.

        Fine, if they don’t want to test them and study the results on a small willing population to prove they are safe then at-least give the public the knowledge and ability to avoid them!

        • Tyranipocrit

           But research has been done and they prove to be deadly.  many many people have been adversely effected.  Some of it in the news years back–but now they cover it up.  Consider: they dont want photos of torturing innocent people to get out–or amercian soldiers committing foul acts in the theater of war–so they cover it up and criminalize whistle blowers–do you really think they will allow the atrocities committed against citizens by monsanto and that adversely effect people’s health to be examined.

          Monsanto is at war against its own customers 9and supported by the government at our expense).  And what do we do.  bend over.  How sad.

          Why do they allow an “un-tested” technology in our food system–to dominate our food system–because you are the rats.  And we will see more ill-effects as years pass–its a slow poison like smoking.

      • JGC

        But I guess I mean a way of manipulating the gene so that it is irreproducible:  you still get the crop, but it cannot be further propagated after the first generation.

        I don’t agree with the health problems statement,meaning illnesses are caused by eating GMO foods.  For sure people should grow organic foods for their own families if they are able, and GMO foods should be labelled so people have that knowledge as they shop at the grocery store. 

        • Tyranipocrit

           we don’t need to manipulate any seeds or plants.  The idea that we need GMOs to feed the world or some stupid crap like  that is a myth perpetuated by Monsanto and their puppets–It is a lie and it is stupid.  i like science.  But I don’t support nuclear weapons–just because its cool that we can manipulate atoms.  I don’t support fracking just because we can do it.  GMOs are the equivalent of thermo nuclear bombs and we’re eating them.  Some scientists can be so arrogant–and obtuse.  I knew geneticists at university–so very very arrogant and obtuse and robotic.  Snobs.  Working for the man.  Not real science.  When scientists sell out to the corporate aristocracy it is not science–it is propaganda.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “GMO foods should be labelled” sounds like a worthy tangent for a whole nother show. See “ag gag” laws.

    • Tyranipocrit

       I tell you why smarty–they want to control the food.  they want to spread and contaminate everything.

  • OklaFarmer

    This was a diffucult show for me to listen to because there was more misinformation that fact espoused on the program.  Opinions are fine, but shouldn’t be passed off as fact.  A fact on our farm is that we need companies to have a financial incentive to continue to develop better products (seeds, chemicals, equipment, etc) that will enable us to produce food for the world and earn a profit so we can feed our own family.  A fact is we care deeply about the enviroment and have a finacial incentive to take care of it; our livelihood and future exists here.  Free market works.  Let it work for all of us and don’t let your opinon restrict the science that I can use on my farm.  Thanks!

    • DeJay79

      Financial incentives are fine and will always be there. But with this lawsuit Monsanto is trying to make their costumers responsible of protecting Monsanto’s profits.
      They have made plenty of money off all the first generation seeds that they have sold to incentivise other companies to try and produce an every better product.

      Their product (and I use that term very loosely) has an inherent flaw that I hope to God they were aware of before they released it onto the market. It is a PLANT that can REPRODUCE. If they wanted the rights to own all seeds produced by the original seeds they sold then they should have made sure that to that affect was in every sale agreement with every framer who bought their seeds (aka contract law). however I doubt that would have went over very well.

      But to try and do this kind of end around on ownership laws by playing the “patient card” is just stupid, crazy greed!

    • Tyranipocrit

       You dont care about the environment or human health if you use GMO seeds or remain silent about their deadly purpose You are part of the problem and you are destroying millions of years of evolution and handing over power of the world to one company–is that smart?

      It is sick and disgusting and criminal–a terrorist action!

  • Streganonna

    This whole argument seems to me to miss the point.  If the farmer went to the grain elevator to buy seed, why didn’t the grain elevator operators inform him that he was buying Monsanto seed… or why didn’t they make an attempt to store the Monsanto seed or the “plain” seed separately.  I got the impression he didn’t know he was buying the Monsanto seed.

  • RollerOfBigCigars

    Has a farmer brought suit against Monsanto for  supplying a product that they knew, or should have known, would contaminate the fields of other than their intended users, against their will, as it were: seed RAPE! Oh yes, the charge is RAPE. Think about it.

  • gailrcampbell

    The court should not allow companies to lock up life.  To do so would deny the natural selection in future generations of the best seeds.  The Seralini study showed that GMO and Roundup ready GMO maize seeds caused massive problems – 2 to 3 times the tumor and death rates in the rates that ate it than those that were the control group.  We must let life evolve and not select for stationary life without allowing for life to adapt to what life needs.

    • JGC

      Woah, there..Your post doesn’t make clear that the Séralini study involved rats, not people.  Take a look at the report in Nature, 10 October 2012, by Declan Butler ‘Hyped GM maize study faces growing scrutiny’:

      Séralini found the rats developed tumours when their water was spiked with glyphosate…But the biggest criticism was the small number of study subjects, only 10 rats in each group. And instead of monitoring young rats (3 months old), as is the norm, he took the study out to over 2 years   (“almost a rat’s life span”), and if you do a study to this length you need many more test subjects and studies. Séralini also used a type of rat, the Sprague-Dawley, which are “prone to developing spontaneous tumours” instead of using another line of rat like the Han Wistar. Séralini was stacking the deck.

      “There is a high probability that the findings in relation to the tumour incidence are due to chance, given the low number of animals and the spontaneous occurance of tumours in Sprague-Dawley rats…(the study) should be retracted, “a dangerous case of failure of the peer-review system”.

      This is sham science.  And the problem with trumpeting faulty studies is it distorts important issues, just like what happened with vaccines causing autism (false),  and human activity causing global weather changes (true).

      • Tyranipocrit

         You’re a conspiracy theorist.  And a low life.  You twist science to your own needs for profit.  You can not deny that people have been adversely effected by GMOs–this is fact.  GMOS kill. 

        Do not eat gmos–grow your own food.  This commenter would rather you get sick and die than lose profit.  Not very human.  He is a …


        • JGC

          You are correct!  A conspiracy theorist! A low life (gee, I’ve never been called a low life before, I feel strangely proud :)  just as a low life should, I guess)!  

          I have no profit in GMOs. But I do stand up for good science.  It is comments like yours that are twisting science to your own needs, just like certain people are insisting climate change is not real because of a plant of doubt from dumbly designed studies. And I said earlier that people should grow their own food, if they can, organically even better. I can see from your comments well above that this is a very important issue to you, as well it should be for everyone, but when you respond off the wall like a total choit, you erode your case, and in fact you give lefties like us a bad name.

          Now go back and read what I wrote again, and check out the stand that Nature (a respected scientific journal) reports. And calm down.


          • Tyranipocrit

            i will get back to you–There was a widespread outbreak caused by GMOs back in the 80s or 90s–when they claim–it was “not perfected” yet it was released and used on people.  Scientific consensus does prove it causes allergies, and other anomolies.

            YOu must also consider that it would takes years to see the effects of a population consuming this poison.  its like cancer–IT IS caused by pollution–but industry will tell you there is no proof of that.  Smoking causes cancer and tumors and countless other diseases and conditions but industry will tell you there is no proof of that.  Well, there is buddy.

            I hope you live long enough o eat your words–because when this generation is mature and scraping food out of bibs–because social security was stolen by the 1%–you will see the ill–effects.  You will see the increase in tumors, disease, etc…Do you know anything about science?  If drink PCPS it will mutate in your genes.  Mr GMO puppet, you should know that you are what you eat.  And you are Monsanto or anyone else has NO right to force their product on anyone.  Its absurd the claims this company makes.  And it is terrorism.  Looks like your with the terrorists, not against them.  Oh, yeah, go ahead and laugh call me crazy or what ever you fascists like to say–but you are guilty.  Monsanto is criminal and the government is criminal for backing them.  And people like you do nothing but support them.  Its cowardly.  its weal.  Its cruel.  Its inhuman.  But at least you have money right and a nice car.  Get off my land.  get off my neck!  A war is coming!

            There is evidence that it harms humans.  Why do you think most countries ban it?  Oh ther just sily lilttle people right?  maybe you should start reading some journals.  But a good place to start is the documentary i mentioned in my other comments.  panacea or Poison?  there are others too.

            If GMos are so GD healthy-why wont they allow labelling or choice in the market?  It’s not a free market at all–it is a monopoly subsidized with tax-payers money founded on natural seed development by millions of farmers over tens of thousands of years.  how do you patent that?  i would like you to honestly consider eating something that gave a rat brain tumors–being that rats are genetically closer to human beings than a chimp.  And even if they were not–would you eat something that killed a rat–it;s life, and functions the same way we do smart guy.  i don’t think you would.  So stop talking tish.   Would yopu eat rat posion?  or woudl you say–”uh huh dih, thats a rat–it wont hurt me?”

          • Tyranipocrit

             You are are not passionate enough.  Choit.

          • JGC

            You are a certified GMO-free nutcase, and now I know how Francis Collins feels defending science and scientific method (and I’m not even religious, or a male for that matter.) 

            P.S. Excuse me for calling you a ‘nutcase’. That really is not very polite.  Even if it is true.

          • Tyranipocrit

            have some balls–if you want to call me a nutcase–fine.  But that is exactly what people do when they refuse to hear the truth.  You mentioned how people like me give lefties or progressives a bad name.  That strikes me as foul and fowl–a person should stand up for his convictions and principles not continually capitulate and apoligize to the bullie son the other side.  that is what you do–by saying crap like that.  Stand up for your convictions.  Does that make me cracy.  is so wrong to be a progressive–why do you care so much what fascists think of you?  Be who you are–stand. You are not a true progression if you are so easily apologetic of truth, reason and principle.  Righties always do this–call those they disagree with nutters and conspiracy theorists but have no argument.  America has no true progressives.  Weak and cowardly.  no true convictions–look at Obama.  If you think being right and ethical is crazy–than there is nothing I would rather be–if the american populatin is sane and normal–than Ihope to the gods I am a complete nutcase!

          • Tyranipocrit

            GMO “safety” is not science. sorry.

      • gailrcampbell

        Seralini et al. stand by their study.

        • JGC

          I know they do.  I saw a lonnnng list of their responses to the criticisms of their study, from Elsevier, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Vol.53, March 2013, pgs 476-483:

          “Our work is a research study; it has not a direct regulatory purpose and should not be considered as a final point in knowing the toxicological effects of NK603 and R…It has limits like any study…Controls do not present tumors in the majority during the experiment.”

  • http://twitter.com/ejsster Jill Sladoje

    If Monsanto wants to protect their product, then they should tell us via product labeling, what product is theirs.  however they spent millions to avoid this in California this past election cycle.  Seems they want it both ways when I as a consumer want to know what is in my food and farmers who don’t want to use Monsanto seed are increasingly marginalized, so as to create a seed monopoly.  Isn’t that against anti-trust rules?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1266410766 Phyllis Craine

    I totally agree with the guest who said this is a contract law issue and not a patent law issue.  No one has answered this question: who violated their contract with Monsanto by putting that GMO seed in the grain elevator in the first place?

  • GrueneJim

    Monsanto does not own the rights to the reproductive cycle of plant life. If the Supreme Court simply applies the long standing principle of “precedent” then the life cycle of the soy bean predates the over-hyped tinkering of Monsanto’s product engineers. Lawyers and judges are not botanists, biologists, or geneticists. The role of farming and agriculture stretch back thousands of years and the farmer’s rights must take precedence over Monsanto’s crass business model.

    • Laura Frost

      I think you’re using “precedent” in the general sense, and not the US legal sense.  Clearly evolution produced the soybean, and then farmers in China began selective breeding on the plant thousands of years ago.  Farmers can still plant non-GMO soybeans if they want, if they buy them or breed/replicate non-patented ones themselves.

      • GrueneJim

        No you are incorrect. I am using precedent in the context of our Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights recognizes the “natural rights” of individuals prior to entering a social contract. In this primordial sense, the farmer’s right to use any seed and to cultivate his soil must be protected. Monsanto assumed all risk when they developed their product and made it available to the marketplace. Monsanto does not have any reasonable claim on the life cycle of soybeans, the labor of a farmer, or the fertility of the soil.

  • Tyranipocrit

    Monsanto bullies and terrorizes farmers who refuse to use their crops, as well–and the federal gov is totally behind them–its about control of the world–he who controls the food, controls the world.  This is why the Gates Foundation is active in Africa.  it is not compassion.

     it is not conspiracy.  it is fact.


  • Tyranipocrit

    it is going into the grain bins without discrimination because they want to corrupt and contaminate and pollute the entire world with their patented deadly-poisonous seeds. 

    This should be a crime–but once again our criminal terrorist government is behind it and subsidizes it and protects it at the expense of the world and all human life.

  • Tyranipocrit

     it should be obvious to everyone.  if you deny it, you’re clearly insane or against humanity for your own profit.

  • Tyranipocrit

     this comment was posted in reply to my comment below but Disquss is clearly incompetent or deliberately wants to confuse people.

  • Tyranipocrit

    Monsanto is a psychotic terrorist organization.  They must be destroyed and the executives criminalized.

  • Tyranipocrit

    Everyone should see the documentary ‘Genetically MOdified Food: Panacea or Poison?’–it will show you how GMOs do actually harm humans–scientific consensus proves it, but Monsanto and the gMO industry, including your government has worked for years to basically outlaw nature and glorify and support at all costs–GMOs.  They have destroyed peoples lives to support GMOs.  People have been eliminated.  People have been blacklisted.  people have been fired and smeared whenever they challenge Monsanto or GMOs

  • Tyranipocrit

    Tom, to even have this argument and give Monsanto any credibility for raping nature and individual rights–poisoning people and attempting to control the food of the world–control nature–makes you guilty of the crime yourself–legitimizing them –calling it “incentive” is really really low.  You have have never stooped so low as you have today. 

    I think you should step down–vote of no confidence.

  • Tyranipocrit

    Have you ever heard of a company that is so opposed and against its clients and customers?

    NO company in the world is so antagonistic and against its customers as is Monsanto.  its unheard of.

    They must be the first company in the world that ha waged war against its customers. 

    What happened to the ‘customer is always right’?

  • Tyranipocrit

    Bowman didn’t get a fair hearing or “friendly” hearing because the government is conspiring with GMOs to control the food in the entire world.  Fact.  Yes you heard me–this is the very definition for conspiracy.  Their is no reason why the government should ever side with one company over another–or with a company over a customer–a citizen,  Yet, they do, everyday.  The government is welfare for the rich.  F-the poor and everyone else.  Our gov is illegitimate and criminal.  This is really an act of war–what Monsanto does.  When will people recognize this and stand up.  

  • Tyranipocrit

    Monsanto is a monopoly.  Large scale Farmers do not have a choice–there is no other seed on the market. 

    Organic farmers do not have a choice when seeds blow in the wind or get tracked on boots or spilled form bags–life finds a way whether it is terminator seed or not.   Frankenstein!

    The “alleged” organic farmer who calls in to sympathize with Monsanto has no case–says nothing that makes sense–and I doubt very much if he is what the says he is–I’m certain he is bought and paid for by Monsanto.

    The guest who made the point that seeds were developed by farmers over millions of years is absolutely correct—now you get a tax-payer subsidized corporation powered by the 1% who uses that seed blossom to claim ownership–its theft and yet once again–they twist truth and common sense into lies and evil.  The thief is MOnsanto–a thief, a bully, a terrorist, and world-destroyer.  If Satan had a form–it would be in Monsanto.

  • Tyranipocrit

     research has been done and they prove to be deadly.  many many people
    have been adversely effected.  Some of it in the news years back–but
    now they cover it up.  Consider: they dont want photos of torturing
    innocent people to get out–or amercian soldiers committing foul acts in
    the theater of war–so they cover it up and criminalize whistle
    blowers–do you really think they will allow the atrocities committed
    against citizens by monsanto and that adversely effect people’s health
    to be examined.

    Monsanto is at war against its own customers 9and supported by the
    government at our expense).  And what do we do.  bend over.  How sad.

    Why do they allow an “un-tested” technology in our food system–to
    dominate our food system–because you are the rats.  And we will see
    more ill-effects as years pass–its a slow poison like smoking.

  • Laura Frost

    The spokesperson from the Center for Food Safety was lying in claiming that US farmers cannot get non-GMO soybean seed.  Here’s one seed breeder that offers them: http://www.stineseed.com/soybeans/traits/elite-soybeans/
    What’s more, the organic foods company Eden Organic, available in Whole Foods stores, offers this non-GMO soybean oil “grown on USA family farms” (http://www.edenfoods.com/articles/view.php?articles_id=36 ), and one may also buy frozen organic edamame.
    Experts invited to On Point are expected to have expertise on their topics.  Trouble is, the Center for Food Safety is really just a lobbying firm for the organic foods industry, and one willing to spread disinformation in the pursuit of increasing its clients’ market share.

    • Tyranipocrit

       large scale farmers do not have these choices in their local areas im sure. large scale farming is unsustainable, and should be regulated, but in the meantime–its not really a choice if you go to a grain elevator and everything is mixed–is it?  Or you go tot the grain store and all they sell is GMO and if you want something else they dont sell it in quantity or you have to well out of your way to get it–maybe even drive 50-100 miles, or jump thru hoops–there are barriers–and that is deliberate.

      Monsanto puppets are no experts either lady.  What is your incentive to protect a terrorist organization at the expense of civil rights?

      • Laura Frost

        Your response is confusing, but I think it’s safe to say that you didn’t even go to the Stine website, right?  Because if you had you would have seen that the non-GMO soybean seeds are available everywhere the crop is grown.  And this is just one seed company of hundreds.
        My point was that the CFS spokesperson lied (that non-GMO soybean seeds are no longer available), and Tom and the On Point producers didn’t catch it. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=32606540 Brian Belgard

      Perfectly stated Laura. I,
      like most people, never trust anything that comes from the mouths of a
      Montsanto spokesperson. However I’m disturbed by the willingness of many to believe
      statements made by the organic food lobby. 

      • Curb_Side

        So just want to make a point here…..  You wont take the opinion of a scientist, whose profession is all about finding truth whether it is liked or not, over a company, where you know their bottom line is making profit from their products.

        It’s like believing MacDonald’s is selling you healthy food and ignoring your doctor.

        Sometimes, you should just read a little.  Information is out there, just learn what a credible source is.

    • Curb_Side

      Laura Frost,
      You sourced company websites.  Of course they are gonna feed you the most positive bullshit.  If I was trying to sell something, I would do the same.

      If you went to school to do research, most teachers would say you didn’t research, you searched out your point of view. 

      It’s not that hard to realize that a company wants to make money, otherwise, they wouldn’t do what they are doing. Once they make money, they wont want to stop regardless of the known or unknown repercussions. Happens all the time, remember the BP oil spill?  They claimed they knew how to plug a leak.  It’s now known they had no idea how to plug the leak under the ocean but went ahead anyway and we know what happened. 

      Wake up.  If it doesn’t seem like a good idea (well intentioned or not), it probably isn’t.   Most people learn to ride a bike first and forget to learn how to crash but that doesn’t stop anyone from riding in the first place.

      Detecting affects in the human body takes decades to properly document and assess.  Don’t’ lose your mind bc you believe someone on their word, when they are really just trying to make a buck off of you.

      Why is a company allowed to do things regular people would be laughed at/arrested for trying???? MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!  Everyone wake up.

      Mark twain once said……  It’s easier to fool people than to convince them of being fooled.

  • Tyranipocrit

     The Monsanto question is really a question of civil rights and class warfare.

  • Tyranipocrit

    By Kevin S:

    “Tom, what concerns me is the precedent that this case sets as to genetic sequence ownership rights over multiple generations.

    Let’s say the Supreme Court rules in favor of Monsanto, ruling that
    subsequent generations of patented genes are protected through second
    and third (and so-on) generations. Genetically engineered animals would
    be held to the same standard, no? Let’s say those GE animals then
    reproduce. Do biotech companies have ownership rights over animal

    Now let’s take human genes patented in the name of disease research -
    or gene sequences genetically engineered and inserted – or humans
    chosen for birth based on genetic testing – aren’t they also restricted
    by law? What if humans with those patented genes reproduce? Under the
    potential precedent, it’s possible that biotech companies could own them
    … or us.”And that is the purpose of Monsanto and GMOs in a nutshell.

    • Michele

       There are cases where bio-tech companies own the DNA sequencing of human beings.  In other words, the DNA of an actual human no longer belongs to that individual but a corporation.  In one case the individual could not have testing done for diseases without express permission from the bio-tech company.  Who says one human being cannot own another?

      BTW: 60 Minutes ran a story on this 5 or 6 years ago.

  • Tyranipocrit

    also watch “The World according to Monsanto.”

  • Tyranipocrit

    There are 356000 results for evidence of GMO dangers to humans on Duck Duck GO–every single one I click is blocked and censored here in China–why?  because China doesn’t want its people to know, to see evidence of how very dangerous it is to humans–they dont want their people to know that GMO foods are poison–and that the rich elites in China are profiting off sickness and death at the expense of the common and poor.

    The elite billionaire class in China was bought when they accepted the WTO–it is what made them billionaires.  China has a long history of its elites selling out the country to westerners for personal wealth–they are doing it again. 

    Follow the money.  If big money tries so desperately to hide truth or even any kind of investigation they are hiding something.   In this case, they are hiding and obscuring and paying billionaires to falsify truth and twist minds to obscure that GMOs are deadly–that our food is deadly.

  • Tyranipocrit

     According to an article that appeared on NaturalNews.com
    the results of new research, which detected a GMO insecticide chemical,
    known as Bt toxin, in human blood is proof that its widespread use is a
    threat to human health and a major public health concern.

    “The biotechnology industry’s house of cards appears to be crumbling, as
    a new study out of the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, recently found
    Bt toxin, a component of certain genetically-modified (GM) crops, in
    human blood samples for the first time. Set to be published in the
    peer-reviewed journal Reproductive Toxicology the new study
    shreds the false notion that Bt is broken down by the digestive system,
    and instead shows that the toxin definitively persists in the
    bloodstream….Upon taking blood samples, researchers detected the Bt
    Cry1Ab toxin in a shocking 93 percent of maternal and 80 percent of
    fetal blood samples. And 69 percent of non-pregnant women tested
    positive for the toxin in their blood….The fact that Bt toxin was
    detected even in unborn babies shows that the chemical is easily passed
    from mother to child, and that it persists far longer than the
    biotechnology industry claims it does.”

    • Laura Frost

      Doesn’t NaturalNews seem like a scam-selling business to everyone who visits it’s website?  Not to Tyranipocrit, apparently.  I wonder if he also thinks the Sandy Hook massacre was staged, as NaturalNews shows as one of its current “Most Popular Stories”

      • JGC

        Tyranipocrit seems to be obsessed and conspiracy-oriented, and has somewhat disjointed rhetoric – maybe because of the China connection? (which then would be understandable; see his/her post just below about censorship “here in China”). I can’t explain T.’s general accusatory, flame throwing dyspeptic attitude, though.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, I guess.

      • Tyranipocrit

        excuse me-but actually–if you read my later comment–I told this here funky comment scroll that I do not give NaturalNews.com any real credibility–as I had just discovered the site, thru a link, found the article in question interesting and true–but then after reading more on the site and checking the background–i realized it is a bit too righty and fanatical for me which makes me skeptical of the site–however, just because someone is wrong about one thing doesn’t make him wrong about everything–and lies and deception always work best with a little truth mixed in. no man is a god. No woman is a goddess. A man might be wise and knowledgeable and still might be wrong about some things. Likewise, a poor trashy tabloid might have a kernel of truth in it somewhere. natural News has some interesting articles but i can find fault with a lot of it. Any critical and educated reader knows he can disagree with elements of what he reads and should question everything. Thus the adage–dont believe everything you hear/read. Even ONpOint–you listen to–does not always get it right–and i disagree with half of what it presents and the way it is presented–ie, the conservative hacks who don’t deserve a voice but OnpOint loves to give the a soapbox. I stand by the article as i did further research–using primary sources–but i do not stand by the website. So frsoty lady–you go put your foot in your mouth–I’d say thirty minutes–then go back to school, finish your education…do a few semesters at Finishing school to brush up on your manners. i think you “wonder” too much. And dont think much.

      • Tyranipocrit

        and I apologize for the link above–i did not intend that.

    • DiannaFulk

      Great information to know! They bad part is, Monstanto has already infected the world’s soybean supply.

  • Tyranipocrit

     The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)’s official
    position on GMOs is that they “have not been properly tested and pose a
    serious health risk” and that a moratorium on GMO foods should be put in
    place until long-term studies demonstrate their safety. Many other
    environmental, public health and consumer protection organizations
    around the world have echoed these sentiments.

  • Tyranipocrit

    Well, It stands to reason that the article linked to below at NeturalNews is accurate, the source, NaturalNews is NOT something I can advocate or get behind.  After perusing some of the articles I found some stuff on guns and other questionable “Righty” fears that I cannot support.  but I will be looking for further evidence of GMO dangers to public health.

  • Gordon Green

    Great point Tom.  “Self reproducing technology” indeed. The simplistic legalistic sophistry of the GMO champions has eclipsed common sense, as is so often the case with technology, where we are over-impressed with our own cleverness.  Look at the complex financial models that brought us the mortgage meltdown.  This complexity masked the simple truth that house prices cannot rise forever, just as the preposterous idea that a company can patent a life form now passes for a reasonable idea, where as any child can tell you that’s just crazy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=32606540 Brian Belgard

      “simplistic legalistic sophistry” is a long winded, and unintelligible way to describe what is a long accepted legal argument. You can patent seeds as intellectual property, and you have the right to restrict their use. This farmer knew about this policy and could have easily found non-GMO seeds but he chose not to, and because of this, he is in the wrong and is liable. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1826217261 Annie Walker

    One aspect of this issue that your discussion didn’t get to is the diversity of the gene pool, which in the long term will be essential to our ability to grow food crops successfully, especially given the challenges that climate change pose. Seed saving and preservation of seeds by small farmers and individuals that have adaptability to local or regional conditions may be key to our survival.
    I would suggest getting input from Vandana Shiva and Eric Holt Jimanez of Food First. Their perspectives would be helpful in broadening the scope of this very important topic. There are many other experts and scholars in this field but they are both articulate resource people.
    Also, organic, bio-dynamic, and sustainable farming practices become increasingly important in the changing climate and the pervasive use of GMO seeds poses a huge threat of contamination.
    Another point is the global monopoly of Monsanto, its power and influence on political leaders in other countries, like India, and the impact of this on farmers and agriculture in those countries.

  • Michele

    Perhaps Mother Nature should sue Monsanto.

  • turtle1776

    I think Mr. Bowman is correct.  At some point all technologies pass into the public domain and are diluted.  This has clearly passed into the public domain.  It cannot be called back.  It is epidemic.

    “The Commons” is made up of all that we inherit and create together and
    should pass on undiminished to the next generation. (Blue Mountain
    It is our common heritage, and is not something that can be taken away by patent rights.

    Monsanto did not protect its right at the grain elevator.  It should be required to segregate all GMO seed and cease and desist from harassing farmers and contaminating the public good.

    Monsanto has a monopoly, and it is being forced on all of us.  We do not have a choice not to use contaminated seed.  It is vanishing.  Even certified organic seed tests positive for GMOs.

    From Wikipedia: the right of the Commons

    Commons refers to the cultural and natural resources
    accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such
    as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in
    common, not owned privately. [1] The resources held in common can include everything from natural resources and common land to software.[2] The commons contains public property and private property,
    over which people have certain traditional rights. When commonly held
    property is transformed into private property this process alternatively
    is termed “enclosure”
    or more commonly, “privatization.” A person who has a right in, or
    over, common land jointly with another or others is called a commoner.[3]

    • ExcellentNews

      And corporations, in the last 20 years, have had an excellent success at extending their IP rights and undermining public doman ownership. 

  • 1Brett1


  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    This is wierd story. Whoever put the Monsanto  seed in the silo was responsible, not this farmer!  Is he supposed to test the DNA of every seed????   And the idea that this parasitical monopoly owns subsequent seed generations forever is insane. I thought they even developed sterile seeds that couldn’t reproduce, another truly evil tactic. If that contaminates natural seeds, it could lead to an ecological catastrophe. As it is, I’m sure there will be some long term damage from GMO products, but it might take 20-30 years to manifest. According to analyses, farmers now use 6 TIMES MORE Round-Up because this crap is breeding super bugs, poisoning the soil and surrounding crops- now they HAVE to use GMO.

  • ExcellentNews

    Just wait until the corporate oligarchs start owning human genes. Finally, slavery will be legal again in the third millennium A.D.!  And it will be backed by a long docket of Supreme Court decisions upholding and extending various patents and other corporate-welfare rulings.

    In that glorious future, the (untaxed) heirs of today’s GOP donors will own some of your genes – and since it is hard to exist without your genes, they will own you. You want to have children? Better ask  them first… They want you to have childrens to work the fields or fight some wars? You better nod and say “yes master”… They do not need you anymore or are annoyed by your quaint ideas of human rights and justice? Get ready to have your genes shut off by their legal owner. Think of this, Supreme Court justices…

    • ExcellentNews

      BTW, for those of you who are rooting for the corporations on the basis that “we need to protect their rights so that continue to innovate and make great products” … in case you lived on a private island for the last 20 years – 95% of biotech development costs are borne by the TAXPAYER (NIH, university research and so on). The only thing large corporations spend money on is marketing and executive bonuses. Their R&D is largely done for free, paid by YOU.

    • http://www.facebook.com/icerock3 Prashant Subhash Kulkarni

      Is this our future and if so lets stop it right now I am farmer from India And Monsanto has killed more then 2.5 lac farmers in my country with BT cotton seed…  

  • DiannaFulk

    When the world was created, so we’re the soybeans. No one should be able to own ALL soybeans. If ALL soybeans are going to grain mills and being mixed together, Monstano is claiming to own ALL the soybeans in the world.

    What if one company in the world took claim on all the fruits, vegetables, cattle, and poultry, because they mixed something in, years ago?

    There has to be a stopping point on Monstanos ownership. I’m sure since 1996, almost every kind of soybean has been mixed together. Do they get to control all the grain in the world?

    Suppose we discovered their beans caused cancer?

    Would they take responsiblity for our future generations doctor bills or death claims?
    No, they would be in court crying that they were only responsible for the bags of beans, they sold directly to the farmers and it’s first grain crop.

  • Tyranipocrit

    “i am their customer”–i dont even know who they are. but you seem to. And Lots of research has been done to show you that fluoridation of the water is bad bad bad. Why are so angry about it? Did you put it in the water? Scientific research has proven it is bad–degenerative to bones even. But whatever, i dont get on that soapbox. Um, and yes–i do avoid flu vaccinations. never had one and never will. Why do you live with so much fear? And i dont know about their “herb” crap you are talking about but i do take herbal medicine from time to time and it works far better than chemical poison big pharma is pushing you–addict–and that comes with an extensive list of side effects. Also, maybe you didnt think about this either–you dont seem to think much–all medicine comes form herbs and rainforests and the like–and herbal medicine has developed for thousands of years. Where do you think they get some of those vaccines from–herbs. One reason why destroying the rainforests is a bad idea–so many remedies and vaccines yet to be discovered. But you know why don’t you just keep worshiping the rich and earth destruction and siding your house with mahogany, sandalwood, and sequoia redwoods. I mean–everything is about you right?

  • northcountryjig

    Why in the world would Monsanto want to prevent its seeds from mixing with non-Monsanto seeds in the “commercial grade mix” grain elevator, as it stands right now?  A few seeds in a grain elevator taints the whole batch, right? So if 10 farmers use that batch, that’s 10 additional sources of income for Monsanto, whether the farmer wanted to use Monsanto seeds or not.  And what if there could be several patented seeds mixed in one elevator?  Will one farmer get sued by four different companies? 

    Tom, next time you do a show on engineered food or obesity, include the voice of Dr. Davis, author of “Wheat Belly.”  We’ve been talking about soybeans and soda and sugar on your shows lately, but you haven’t touched wheat yet.  Dr. Davis does a beautiful job of explaining the science behind how all of our modern-day wheat has been tinkered with, resulting in a totally addictive grain that is as bad as soda.

  • sjpajek

    Let me see if I have this straight, a farmers buys GMS so he owns the seeds but not the seed they in-turn produce? If he keeps seeds as they have in the past they are not his seeds but Monsanto’s? Now if the wind blows to another direction into an adjacent farmers field, they as well belong to Monsanto? Wow what a racket! Heaven help us if they get into GMS lawn grass and forest trees…

    • http://www.facebook.com/natalie.williams.5249 Natalie Williams

      Monsanto has a history of suing farmer whose plants become cross-contaminated with their GMO plants.  Their pattern of “business” has always been predatory.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rubyquail Rubyquail Love

    Farmers – listen and learn – never buy anything from Monsanto in the first place.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angelica-Suarez/1041196847 Angelica Suarez

    Just asume I patent my spit, then I spit on your food and then your food is all mine

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    We don’t need no reg-u-lay-shun!…
    What do the T-baggers and republicans like Groveler MoreGrift have to say about this case? Still don’t need no government? If Mr bowman had not had legal support, I don’t doubt that this case could have bankrupted him. This case should have never had to come to court.

    Congress should have enacted laws and not-so-evil regulations to save farmer Vernon from the burden of having to fight this injustice systematically being perpetrated by Monsanto around the world.

  • Nana Boone

    Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative,
    We all need to unite and not buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.  Put an end to companies like Monsanto!
    The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. Genetically engineered varieties have been willfully and insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we all need to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.lithgow.31 James Lithgow

    There are 8 and 2 half, lunatics on the supreme court!

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.lithgow.31 James Lithgow

    Farmer’s unite, take Monsanto down!

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.lithgow.31 James Lithgow

    Monsanto and the supreme court, need to stop, playing GOD!

Sep 1, 2014
This Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 photo shows a mural in in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago dedicated to the history of the Pullman railcar company and the significance for its place in revolutionizing the railroad industry and its contributions to the African-American labor movement. (AP)

On Labor Day, we’ll check in on the American labor force, with labor activist Van Jones, and more.

Sep 1, 2014
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) recovers a fumble by Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson (3) in the second quarter of the NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP)

One outspoken fan’s reluctant manifesto against football, and the big push to reform the game.

Aug 29, 2014
Beyoncé performs at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Getty)

Sex, power and Beyoncé’s feminism. The message to young women.

Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 29, 2014
Friday, Aug 29, 2014

On hypothetical questions, Beyoncé and the unending flow of social media.

More »
Drew Bledsoe Is Scoring Touchdowns (In The Vineyards)
Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Football great — and vineyard owner — Drew Bledsoe talks wine, onions and the weird way they intersect sometimes in Walla Walla, Washington.

More »
Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

More »
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