Clear Lake, Iowa - December 29, 2011 – In a development celebrated by the organic plaintiffs, Judge Naomi Buchwald announced yesterday that oral arguments on Monsanto’s motion to dismiss the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto will be heard in federal district court January 31, 2012 in Manhattan. Judge Buchwald’s decision will establish if organic farmers are to see their day in court.
The eighty-three family farmers, small and family owned seed businesses, and agricultural organizations comprising the organic plaintiff group represent over 300,000 individuals. The landmark lawsuit, filed in March 2011, challenges the validity of Monsanto’s patents on genetically engineered seeds and seeks court protection for innocent family farmers whose crops may become contaminated by Monsanto seed potentially resulting in loss of income and organic certification.
“We are grateful that Judge Buchwald has agreed to our request to hear oral argument on the motion,” said Jim Gerritsen, President of lead plaintiff OSGATA. “Last August we submitted our written rebuttal and it made clear that Monsanto’s motion was without merit. Our legal team, from the Public Patent Foundation, is looking forward to orally presenting our position. The family farmers deserve their day in court. We are anxious that this case go to trial as soon as possible so that our innocent farmers may receive Court protection.”
OSGATA is a membership organization composed primarily of farmers and seed businesses. Their mission is to develop and protect the organic seed industry along with their growers. In an effort to raise funds, OSGATA has launched a “Farmers Travel Fund” enabling family farmers from the plaintiff group to attend the court proceedings and related events. See www.osgata.org.
Background information on the OSGATA v. Monsanto lawsuit may be found at www.osgata.org and the Public Patent Foundation www.pubpat.org.