A broad coalition of family farmers, independent seed companies, and NGO’s representing the organic community brought suit against perhaps one of the most powerful corporations in the world: Monsanto. At stake ultimately, according to some, is who will control the future of food (pdf), the global agrichemical corporations through their patent restrictions and market control, or sovereign nations backed by the will of the people.
In a world where the polluter (ie,an agrichemical company that holds a patent on a particular plant seed) can bring a patent infringement lawsuit against the party who is the recipient of that pollution (ie, a farmer whose native (unlicensed) seed becomes inadvertently contaminated by the patented seed of a nearby farm, through pollen drift, and other accidental means), is a clear sign that we are approaching the cliff. Are we sheep that follow the herd blindly over the abyss, or are we thoughtful human beings capable of taking corrective action to avert such a disaster?
It’s sad that such fundamental concerns over the allowing of living things to be patented (and thereby controlled) was decided by the supreme court. Not, as more appropriate, within the halls of congress and the executive branch, where such important, and far reaching implications far exceed the legal domain. Now decades later, the scene is set for this absurd legal battle to play out, the pollutee preeminently taking legal strike to avoid future harm from the alleged future polluter. Nonetheless, the outcome of this lawsuit may provide some indication whether we will walk as beast, or as man toward our intended fate.
For now, Federal Court Judge Naomi Buchwald will have to decide…
Here are two videos discussing this case from outside the courtroom in New York City.
This is a longer video by veteran filmmaker, Jan Weber: OWS FDN Monsanto