North Carolina seed company joins class-action lawsuit against Monsanto that seeks protection against predatory patent lawsuits
By Ethan A. Huff
February 23, 2012
Asheville, N.C.-based Sow True Seed, a seed company that offers non-GMO, non-hybrid, and open-pollinated varieties of heirloom, organic, and traditional seeds, has joined a class-action lawsuit against biotechnology giant Monsanto that seeks protection for farmers against predatory patent lawsuits. On January 31, 2012, Federal Court Judge Naomi Buchwald from the Southern District of New York held a preliminary hearing of the case to decide if it will move forward, which was joined by hundreds of supporters who held a rally in Foley Square located just across the street from the Manhattan courthouse.
Filed by the Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association (OSGTA) on behalf of more than 300,000 organic and non-GMO farmers, the lawsuit addresses an important issue for which few people are aware. Besides polluting the environment with toxic herbicides and tainting the food supply with untested genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), the Monsanto Co. has a history of actually suing non-GMO and organic farmers whose crops have become contaminated with genetically-altered materials for supposed patent infringement.
“Monsanto has a monopoly over crops and over seed. And currently as the law exists, Monsanto can actually sue family farmers,” said Kristen Wartman, co-founder of Occupy Big Food, in a recent documentary short put together by the GRACE Communications Foundation.