Class Action – 60 farmers sue Monsanto over GMO seed patents

Farm to consumer legal defense fund in Suit over Monsanto GMO Seed

Falls Church, Virginia (April 13, 2011) – On behalf of 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations, the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed suit on March 29 against Monsanto Company to challenge the chemical giant’s patents on genetically modified seed. The organic plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed, something Monsanto has done to others in the past.

The case, Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto, was filed in federal district court in Manhattan and assigned to Judge Naomi Buchwald. Plaintiffs in the suit represent a broad array of family farmers, small businesses and organizations from within the organic agriculture community who are increasingly threatened by genetically modified seed contamination despite using their best efforts to avoid it. The plaintiff organizations have over 270,000 members, including thousands of certified organic family farmers. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) is a plaintiff in the suit.

This case asks whether Monsanto has the right to sue organic farmers for patent infringement if Monsanto’s transgenic seed should land on their property,” said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT’s Executive Director and Lecturer of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. “It seems quite perverse that an organic farmer contaminated by transgenic seed could be accused of patent infringement, but Monsanto has made such accusations before and is notorious for having sued hundreds of farmers for patent infringement, so we had to act to protect the interests of our clients.

The plaintiffs in the suit represented by PUBPAT are:

Abundant Acres Adaptive Seeds, LLC
Alba Ranch Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co., LLC
Bryce Stephens California Cloverleaf Farms
Canadian Organic Growers Chispas Farms LLC
Chuck Noble Comstock, Ferre & Co., LLC
Countryside Organics Cuatro Puertas
Demeter Association, Inc Donald Wright Patterson, Jr.
Family Farm Defenders Inc. Family Farmer Seed Cooperative
Farm-to-Consumer Legal
Defense Fund
FEDCO Seeds Inc.
Food Democracy Now! Frey Vineyards, Ltd.
Genesis Farm Global Organic Alliance
Gratitude Gardens Interlake Forage Seeds Ltd.
Jardin del Alma Kirschenmann Family Farms Inc.
Koskan Farms LaRhea Pepper
Levke and Peter Eggers Farm Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Mendocino Organic Network Midheaven Farms
Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds Nature’s Way Farm Ltd.
Navdanya International North Outback Farm
Northeast Organic DairyProducers Alliance Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont Northeast Organic Farming Association/MassachusettsChapter, Inc.
Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society OCIA Research and Education Inc.
Ohio Ecological Food &Farm Association Organic Crop Improvement Association International, Inc.
Organic Seed Growers andTrade Association Paul Romero
Philadelphia Community Farm, Inc Quinella Ranch
Richard Everett Farm, LLC Ron Gargasz Organic Farms
Rural Vermont Seedkeepers, LLC
Siskiyou Seeds Southeast Iowa Organic Association
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange Sow True Seed
Sustainable Living Systems T & D Willey Farms
Taylor Farms, Inc. The Cornucopia Institute
Wild Plum Farm
Rose Marie Burroughs of plaintiff California Cloverleaf Farms said, “The devastation caused by GMO contamination is an ecological catastrophe to our world equal to the fall out of nuclear radiation. Nature, farming and health are all being affected by GMO contamination. We must protect our world by protecting our most precious, sacred resource of seed sovereignty. People must have the right to the resources of the earth for our sustenance. We must have the freedom to farm that causes no harm to the environment or to other people. We must protect the environment, farmers’ livelihood, public health and people’s right to non GMO food contamination.”


Daniel B. Ravicher, Executive Director
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Phone:  (212) 545-5337


One thought on “Class Action – 60 farmers sue Monsanto over GMO seed patents

  1. here June 21, 2012 / 10:45 pm

    I agree – that’s all!

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