Posted by Dave on January 4, 2013
If you haven’t already heard, next Thursday January 10th, family farmers will enter a courtroom in Washington DC in the appeal of their landmark court case challenging Monsanto’s abusive patent infringement lawsuits against America’s family farmers.
Once again leaders in Washington DC have proven themselves out of touch with the will of the American people. Nowhere is this more true than in food and agricultural policy, where both parties have allowed agribusiness and biotech companies to write the rules and ram the approval of new GMO crops down our throats, threatening human health, the environment and the livelihoods of family farmers.
Over the holidays Food Democracy Now! sent several urgent alerts regarding GMO salmon and our lawsuit, OSGATA vs Monsanto, to protect family farmers from unwanted contamination of their crops by Monsanto’s genetically engineered pollen.
Many of you responded that you’d like to join us in Washington DC for an event to show your support for America’s family farmers in their fight against Monsanto’s abusive patent infringement lawsuits.
Because of the importance of this case on behalf of family farmers and the pending approval of GMO salmon, we’d like to offer individuals the chance to show their solidarity with the 30 brave farmers and plaintiffs that will be traveling to Washington DC on January 10th to take part in their appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
With all that’s at stake right now in our nation’s capital, between GMO salmon and the Monsanto biotech riders, which have been temporarily defeated, we think it’s important that we offer individuals the chance to gather in a show of solidarity.
Click here to RSVP to attend a Citizen’s Assembly to Support America’s Farmers in Washington DC on Jan. 10th. If you plan on attending, please RSVP here today so we can have an idea of how many people will be there.
A Brief History: OSGATA vs Monsanto
Family farmers and farm organizations originally filed a lawsuit against Monsanto in March 2011 in an effort to invalidate Monsanto’s patents and protect organic and non-GMO family farmers from unwanted genetic contamination of their crops and from Monsanto’s aggressive patent infringement lawsuits.
Monsanto filed a motion to dismiss the case, which was heard in Federal District Court in New York City on January 31st, 2012. In February 2012, Federal Judge Naomi Buchwald dismissed the case, ruling that the farmers lacked legal standing regarding the concerns over genetic contamination and resulting economic harm.
In March 2012, Plaintiffs appealed the District Court's decision to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which scheduled oral argument in the case to be heard on January 10, 2013.
Lawyers from the Public Patent Foundation, who are 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.
What’s at Stake
OSGATA vs Monsanto is a landmark legal case attempting to protect family farmers from Monsanto’s aggressive patent infringement lawsuits and unwanted genetic contamination that results when Monsanto’s patented, GMO pollen blowing across farmer’s fences and contaminates their crops against their wishes. In an effort to enforce their legal patents on their genetically engineered genes, Monsanto regularly sends their seed police out in rural America to trespass on farmer’s fields and steal their plants to take them back to their labs for testing.
Since 1997, one year after the approval of Monsanto’s GMO Roundup Ready soybeans, the world’s leading chemical and biotech seed company admits to filing 150 lawsuits against America’s family farmers, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts. During this time, Monsanto has investigated an average of more than 500 family farmers each year.
Due to these aggressive lawsuits and investigations, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy.
GMO Salmon and 13 Other GMO Crops Awaiting Approval
Right now the Obama administration is considering the approval AquaBounty’s GMO salmon and 13 new genetically engineered crops. Now is our time to stand up and raise our voice!
As Food Democracy Now! previously reported, 4 days before Christmas, on December 21, the Obama administration gave a clear signal that the AquaBounty GMO salmon is on the verge of being approved. Once again, the FDA is putting corporate science over public health.
As the first genetically engineered animal sold direct for human consumption, AquaBounty’s GMO salmon fails to meet basic requirements for safety test for human health and environmental protection. Currently the FDA has a 60-day comment period on their Environmental Assessment that started on December 26th, please lend your voice.
At the same time, 13 new GMO crops are currently awaiting approval at the USDA, including Dow Chemical Agent Orange 2,4-D corn and soy and a non-browning GMO apple.
One thig is for sure, now is the time to stand up for our basic rights to know what’s in our food and for family farmers. Democracy is like a muscle, you either use it or lose it.
Please RSVP to stand with family farmers against Monsanto in Washington DC on January 10th, they can use all the support they can get!
Click here to take part in A Citizen’s Assembly of Support Family Farmers vs. Monsanto outside the court in an effort to stand up for America’s farmers at this crucial moment in their quest for justice. Click here to RSVP and learn more about how to participate outside the courtroom.
Thank you for joining us in making a stand with family farmers - Please help spread the word!
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team