Bowman v Monsanto: Company Wins Seed Patent Case
Monday, the Supreme Court ruled against 75-year-old farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman who had been sued by the Monsanto Corporation for patent infringement when Bowman planted soy seed he bought at a local grain elevator. The Court ruled that it was illegal for Bowman to plant seed harvested by fellow farmers. Monsanto’s patent controls prohibit replanting of seed from crops they’ve raised, requiring farmers to buy seed each year, thus assuring the corporation’s profit while destroying generations of traditional farming practice.
Some 93% of the soy grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered.
Bowman’s lawyer, Mark Walters, told Bloomberg News in an e-mail that the ruling “makes infringers out of 95 percent of America’s soybean farmers, dependent on the grace of a single company to avoid liability. ”A pro Monsanto patent attorney said simply, “this is fantastic for their business model.”
Last month, Monsanto reported that its net profit rose 22% in the last year. It’s genetically engineered seed business increased 10% while its sales of herbicide, much of it tied to genetically engineered crops, rose a whopping 37%. Roundup, the herbicide tied to Monsanto’s GMO crops, increase 73%. (Editorial comment from your friendly Planet Natural Blogger: Oh, boy! More chemical herbicide in the environment.)
Meanwhile, world-wide protests against Monsanto’s control of food production have been scheduled for May 25. Here’s the official website for the event. ‘Nuff said.