Wild Garden Seed has joined over 80 other small farms, organizations, seed companies, and individuals in filing a complaint to prevent Monsanto from suing farmers if unwanted patented genetic material is found on their land.
This original complaint was filed a couple months ago in March, and Monsanto responded by saying they do not and will not pursue lawsuits against farmers when “trace” amounts of genetic contamination occur. The lead Attorney for the Public Patent Foundation, Daniel Ravicher, responded to this by asking Monsanto to set this promise in stone and make it legally binding, effectively settling this out of court. Instead, Monsanto hired one of the top law firms in D.C., and reasserted their right to sue farmers who become contaminated.
With this failure to agree to not sue, an amended complaint has been filed by the Public Patent Foundation, with the addition of around twenty new plaintiffs, including Wild Garden Seed. Another new plaintiff, Marty Mesh of Florida Organic Growers, had this to say:
“If Organic farmers, seed growers, and companies have no assurance that technology they have never asked for, never signed a licensing agreement to use, have no desire to be a part of, and in fact, go to great lengths to avoid, can still trespass on their farms and subject them to a lawsuit by the patent holder who seemingly escapes all liability for that trespass, then it is not only morally wrong, ethically unjust, but also legally perverse.” (From “Family Farmers Amplify Complaint…“)
A pdf of the ammended complaint, including Monsanto’s responses and Public Patent Foundation’s letters, can be found here.