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Imagine that a storm blows across your garden - and that now, without your knowledge and without your consent, foreign and genetically-manipulated seeds are in your vegetable patch which you have nourished and maintained for many years. A few days later, representatives of a multi-national corporate group pay you a visit at home, demand that you surrender your vegetables and file a criminal complaint against you
No matter: Monsanto now provides roughly 90 percent of the world’s genetically modified seeds
Despite Monsanto’s new mission to support farmers around the world, the company now controls the global seed market to such an extent that many conventional farmers are forced to use Monsanto’s gene-patented seeds.
“The amount of consolidation in the seed industry is extreme,” says Carol Goland, executive director of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA).
OEFFA is one of 60 plaintiffs represented by the Public Patent Foundation in a lawsuit filed March 30 against Monsanto challenging its patents on genetically modified seeds.
To add insult to injury, Monsanto has sued farmers in the United States and Canada when the firm’s patented genetic material has inadvertently contaminated their crops.
Percy Schmeiser, a Canadian farmer whose fields were contaminated with Monsanto’s Round-Up Ready Canola due to pollen drift, was sued by Monsanto in 1997 for patent infringement. Monsanto won the case in a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling.