United States family farmers and small seed companies are taking the next historic step in their fight to protect traditional agriculture. The large group is appealing to have their case against global agriculture giant Monsanto heard in federal court. The filing today in appellate court in Washington, DC is asking for reversal of the lower court's decision to dismiss the case of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, et. al. against Monsanto.
"It's time to end Monsanto's scorched earth legal campaign of threats and intimidation against America's farmers. Family farmers should be protected by the courts against the unwanted genetic contamination of their crops," said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of co-plaintiff group Food Democracy Now.
The core of the controversy is the question of whether any company can patent life in the form of seeds, thus controlling the food supply. Many small farmers, especially those who grow open pollinated, heirloom and organic varieties, argue that genetically modified or transgenic crops threaten the traditional food supply because of drifting seed and pollen. Monsanto has maintained that its patented GM seeds don't pose a threat to other farmers and has characterized the OSGATA et. al. lawsuit as frivolous.