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Out Of Mind » FEEL GOOD ~ BODY & MIND » AMAZING PEOPLE, PLACES & THINGS » Family Farmers to Travel to Washington, D.C. to Take on Monsanto

Family Farmers to Travel to Washington, D.C. to Take on Monsanto

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Family Farmers to Travel to Washington, D.C. to Take on Monsanto

Image Source
Activist Post

Dozens of family farmers, Plaintiffs in the landmark lawsuit Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto,
will travel from across America to Washington, D.C. next week to take
on Monsanto and demand the right to farm. They will attend the January
10th Oral Argument in the Appeal of Dismissal to be aired before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
A Citizen's Assembly in support of family farmers at 10am in Lafayette
Square will coincide with the beginning of the Oral Argument inside the
court room.

"Our farmers want nothing to do with Monsanto," declared Maine certified
organic seed farmer, Jim Gerritsen, President of lead Plaintiff Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association.
"We are not customers of Monsanto. We don't want their seed. We don't
want their gene-spliced technology. We don't want their trespass onto
our farms. We don't want their contamination of our crops. We don't want
to have to defend ourselves from aggressive assertions of patent
infringement because Monsanto refuses to keep their pollution on their
side of the fence. We want justice."

Many farmers have been forced to stop growing certain
crops to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits from
Monsanto. This case challenges the validity of Monsanto's genetically
engineered seed patents and seeks Court protection for family farmers
who, through no fault of their own, may have become contaminated by
Monsanto's patented seed and find themselves accused of patent

Monsanto filed 144 lawsuits against America's family farmers and settled
another 700 out of court between 1997 and 2010. These aggressive
lawsuits have created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven
dozens of farmers into bankruptcy.

"The District Court erred when it denied the organic seed plaintiffs the
right to seek protection from Monsanto's patents," said attorney Dan
Ravicher of the not-for-profit Public Patent Foundation
"At the oral argument on January 10, we will explain to the Court of
Appeals the District Court's errors and why the case should be

A Citizen's Assembly
In Support of Family Farmers is scheduled for 10am in Lafayette Square
on Thursday, January 10. Family farmers, their lawyers, and supporters
will join after the hearing to explain why they traveled thousands of
miles to protect their farms and communities.

"Farmers have planted and saved seeds for more than 10,000 years without
interruption until Monsanto's genetically engineered seeds entered the
market in 1996. Almost immediately Monsanto began a campaign of
harassment against America's farmers, trespassing on their land and
launching frivolous patent infringement lawsuits," said Dave Murphy,
founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!.
"It's time to end Monsanto's campaign of fear against America's farmers
and stand up for farmers' right to grow our food without legal threats
and intimidation."

The lawsuit was originally filed in March 2011 by a large group of 83
Plaintiffs, which included individual family farmers, independent seed
companies and farm organizations, whose memberships total over 300,000
individuals. The case was dismissed in February 2012 by Federal Judge
Naomi Buchwald who ruled that the farmers lacked standing.

Lawyers from the Public Patent Foundation representing the farmers have
identified numerous reversible legal and factual errors committed by the
judge, which they assert caused her to mistakenly dismiss the case and
have filed a powerful appeal brief with the court. Amici briefs in
support of the Plaintiffs have been filed by a group of eleven prominent law professors and by a group of fourteen non-profit agricultural and consumer organizations.

OSGATA has established a Farmer Travel Fund to provide travel assistance
to Plaintiff farmers for the case. Donations can be made here.

About OSGATA: The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association is a
not-for-profit agricultural organization made up of organic farmers,
seed growers, seed businesses and supporters. OSGATA is committed to
developing and protecting organic seed and its growers in order to
ensure the organic community has access to excellent quality organic
seed free of contaminants and adapted to the diverse needs of local
organic agriculture.

Read other articles and press releases from Activist Post Here

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