This week, the Public Patent Foundation, representing plaintiffs that include the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, announced a preemptive suit against Monsanto. The suit is designed to keep Monsanto from suing farmers whose fields are accidentally contaminated by Monsanto's patented genetically modified seeds.
Monsanto has an almost unbelievable history of suing farmers. It has sued farmers who wanted merely to say that their milk is free of Monsanto's bovine growth hormone. It has sued farmers who wound up with Monsanto genes in their crops inadvertently. Monsanto's position seems to be that if you are not buying Monsanto products, it will find a way to make your life hell.
Honestly, if I were running public relations at Monsanto, I'd be inviting Michael Pollan to tea and offering tours to organic farmers. Or at least not behaving like Snidley Whiplash about to tie a girl to the railroad tracks. Is this belligerence really SMART in the long-term? I think no.
In any case, it does a body good to see the farmers striking back against one of the great corporate thugs of our time.