Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Issue: Environmental and Social Justice
Program Topic: Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al vs. Monsanto; Maine’s GMO labeling bill
Key Discussion Points:
a) On March 29th, 2011 OSGATA, et al vs. Monsanto was filed in federal district court. 60 family farms, seed businesses and agricultural organizations were seeking protection from Monsanto’s heavy handed tactics of investigating and suing farmers for patent right infringement, if they claimed their genetically modified seeds had spread to the fields of farmers who had not purchased the GE seed.
b) In January 2012, the case was dismissed. This June, the US Court of Appeals First Circuit found that the plaintiffs did have standing, but that the case could not go forth, “because Monsanto has made binding assurances that it will ‘not take legal action against growers whose crops might inadvertently contain traces of Monsanto’s biotech genes (because, for example, some transgenic seed or pollen blew onto the grower’s land’”. OSGATA, et al, still looks for their day in court. They have asked the Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals’ decision.
c) Jim Gerritsen also discusses Maine’s GMO labeling bill, poised to take effect.
Jim Gerritsen, president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association; Co-owner and operator of Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater, Maine