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Judge Sides With Monsanto: Ridicules Farmers’ Right to Grow Food Without Fear, Contamination and Economic Harm

Jane Ayers
NationofChange / News Report
Published: Wednesday 29 February 2012
“The plaintiffs brought this suit against Monsanto to seek judicial protection from such lawsuits and challenge the validity of Monsanto’s patents on seeds.”

On February 24, Judge Naomi Buchwald handed down her ruling on a motion to dismiss in the case of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Assn et al v. Monsanto after hearing oral argument on January 31st in Federal District Court in Manhattan.  Her ruling to dismiss the case brought against Monsanto on behalf of organic farmers, seed growers and agricultural organizations representing farmers and citizens was met with great disappointment by the plaintiffs.

Plaintiff lead attorney Daniel Ravicher said, "While I have great respect for Judge Buchwald, her decision to deny farmers the right to seek legal protection from one of the world's foremost patent bullies is gravely disappointing.  Her belief that farmers are acting unreasonable when they stop growing certain crops to avoid being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement should their crops become contaminated maligns the intelligence and integrity of those farmers.  Her failure to address the purpose of the Declaratory Judgment Act and her characterization of binding Supreme Court precedent that supports the farmers' standing as 'wholly inapposite' constitute legal error.  In sum, her opinion is flawed on both the facts and the law.  Thankfully, the plaintiffs have the right to appeal to the Court of Appeals, which will review the matter without deference to her findings."

Monsanto's history of aggressive investigations and lawsuits brought against farmers in America have been a source of concern for organic and non-GMO farmers since Monsanto's first lawsuit brought against a farmer in the mid-90's.  Since then, 144 farmers have had lawsuits brought against them by Monsanto for alleged violations of  their patented seed technology.  Monsanto has brought charges against more than 700 additional farmers who have settled out-of-court rather than face Monsanto's belligerent litigious actions. Many of these farmers claim to not have had the intention to grow or save seeds that contain Monsanto's patented genes. Seed drift and pollen drift from genetically engineered crops often contaminate neighboring fields. If Monsanto's seed technology is found on a farmer's land without contract they can be found liable for patent infringement.

"Family farmers need the protection of the court," said Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen, President of lead plaintiff OSGATA.  "We reject as naïve and undefendable the judge's assertion that Monsanto's vague public relations 'commitment' should be 'a source of comfort' to plaintiffs. The truth is we are under threat and we do not believe Monsanto.  The truth is that American farmers and the American people do not believe Monsanto. Family farmers deserve our day in court and this flawed ruling will not deter us from continuing to seek justice." 

 The plaintiffs brought this suit against Monsanto to seek judicial protection from such lawsuits and challenge the validity of Monsanto's patents on seeds.

"As a citizen and property owner, I find the Order by the Federal Court to be obsequious to Monsanto," said plaintiff organic farmer Bryce Stephens of Kansas.  "The careless, inattentive, thoughtless and negligent advertisement Monsanto has published on their website to not exercise its patent rights for inadvertent trace contamination belies the fact that their policy is in reality a presumptuous admission of contamination by their vaunted product on my property, plants, seeds and animals."

"Seeds are the memory of life," said Isaura Anduluz of plaintiff Cuatro Puertas and the Arid Crop Seed Cache in New Mexico.  "If planted and saved annually, cross pollination ensures the seeds continue to adapt. In the Southwest, selection over many, many generations has resulted in native drought tolerant corn.  Now that a patented drought tolerant corn has been released how do we protect our seeds from contamination and our right to farm?

ABOUT Jane Ayers

Jane Ayers is an independent journalist (USA Today, Los Angeles Times Interview, The Nation, SF Chronicle, Truthout, etc.) and Director of Jane Ayers Media. She can be reached at email

The fact that judges and

The fact that judges and lawyers exist at all is a testament to mans inability to communicate. Work it out nicely and an entire cast of parasites could be eliminated.

I am a New Yorker, and I am

I am a New Yorker, and I am here to tell you that judges, police, etc have been paid off for years. She sounds like one of them, or she's just a MORON!!!

The only solution for the

The only solution for the likes of Monsantos is a high tech one. The moron bomb. Once detonated it wipes all assholes from the face of the earth leaving the good peoples unharmed.

Let's not get hopeless now.

Let's not get hopeless now. Nature will always level the playing field even if not in our personal time frame. Meanwhile, just keep on the path.

They do, and they always

They do, and they always lose, because Monsanto is a major international corporation with the legal resources availed to them by giant profits, and small family farmers are just family farmers. Like it or not, 95% of patent cases are settled in favor of the big guys.

Let's not forget that lower

Let's not forget that lower level judges like Naomi Buchwald tend to get their positions through the old boy or old girl network. At the highest levels that still happens to some extent, but lower level New York judges are notoriously corrupt and "under the influence" of those that got them the job. Let's hope a true "judge" at the higher appeal levels will have the courage to see the issue detached from a crony mindset.

It has been proven (in a

It has been proven (in a documentary on Netflix Watch Now) that Monsanto has employees with the job of posting comments on the web that sabotage anyone who would try to stand in their way--in this case (and most cases) organic farmers. But they were also caught red handed trying to sabotage Mexican researchers that proved their BT corn genetics were contaminating Mexican corn strains that go back to antiquity. They are paid to post fabricated data and garbage like you read above. Organic farming makes sense on numerous levels including not being harmful to your health as BT corn is, more nutritious due to soil richness, and not destructive to the land and water supply that you own.

"Biotech Crops" Your

"Biotech Crops" Your statement is simply not true.

In a related issue, the House

In a related issue, the House just passed H.R.347, which makes it a federal offense to excersize your first amendmant rights by gathering in protest where a "nationally significant" event is being held. This designation can be applied to almost ANY situation where a politician, foreign dignitary or government representative is present. You can be arrested, even if you had no knowledge these folks were present, say, if you are protesting on a street outside a hotel where one of them happens to be staying. The designation can be applied by any local, federal or civil authority. The Senate already passed its version of this nazi like ruling. Wonder what Judge Buchwald will have to say about one of these cases before her court.........

If you believe in an

If you believe in an afterlife you would not want to be associated with Monsanto in this life. In this context this judge is sentencing herself to a future that noone would want. Perhaps we should be feeling pity for her rather than anger.

Sorry to read of the Judge's

Sorry to read of the Judge's ruling in this case, that favours a company that has such power over our food and what goes on our tables. Why is this, is the question sometimes asked?

Well just look at the number of ex-Monsanto people who have held and who still hold high positions in the present and previous US Government, including it has to be said the US Supreme Court. The classic example of the latter has to be Justice Clarence Thomas who has sat in judgement in cases where Monsanto has been one of the defendents. Justice Thomas as a lawyer worked a few years for Monsanto, in anyones thinking that has to be a conflict of interest, but no, Justice Thomas sat and ruled in favour of Monsanto his former boss.

Unfortunately, Monsanto's power has spread beyond the US. Im the UK an advisor to the UK Government on agriculture was later found to be for years on the payroll of Monsanto.

What chance has the ordinary farmer against such a powerfrul company?

I agree with JCM. Take a

I agree with JCM. Take a look at that classic case in Florida where 13 people from Monsanto -through to journalists, right up to the FDA were found corrupt when they lied about a cancerous growth hormone in the milk supply. Fox had 2 employees that couldnt continue with their findings (as well as being locked out of a job for persisting with the case in court) . Fox shut the story down. In the end the court found that companies like Fox have the final say in editorial value: meaning they can slant, leave out , basically fabricate by omission because they 'own ' the material that has been placed in its lap. To tell a true story in this magical world or 'hard hitting journalism' 1st you need to find a broadcaster who hasnt had their ba..s licked by Monsanto.

For those of you who are

For those of you who are interested in the judges reasons please see the link below.

I was a member of the Friends

I was a member of the Friends of the Earth until I realized all they do is complain. You can do good in this world by actually being constructive. You can help water quality by working as an water engineer. Environmental solutions have to be practical. organic is not practical - it reduces yields and produces less of more land and yet we need to produce more from less land and if we need to do this we have to encourage the best high tech solutions that farmers want to use. Companies like Monsanto are the only ones to be able to develop these solutions. we have made it so difficult for any one else to make a difference and this is because the childish, irrational antiGM activists who can't see past their dogmatic any-technology beliefs. You have to rationally look at a problem. For example - and I will be provocative - I think burying plastic in the ground is fine. Plastic is pretty inert making it biodegradable turns it into methane and Co2 we need to make it inert and put in back underground but many would rather spend more energy and waste more water recycling paper from trees cut down from forests. A careful environmental and economical evaluation is needed and not a knee jerk reaction

Organic crops are sustainable

Organic crops are sustainable and do yield more than the GMO crops without contaminating the soil, the groundwater and other living things like bees and people. Apparently you have not kept up on how these GMO crops have done...not very well. The corn crop that was suppose to be able to kill off the borrer bug failed and the bug adapted and won. The crops that were developed to resist drought have failed while the crops that were grown by organic farmers for years did well. You need to do a little readin on the subject before repeating the corporate rhetoric.

You sir are an idiot!

You sir are an idiot!

And you are correct.

And you are correct.

keeping crops separate from

keeping crops separate from each other is not unique to organic and Gm crops. White corn needs to be kept away from yellow corn etc. The amount of cross-pollination between corn plants is negligible after about 600 ft. Organic industry came up with unworkable standard of purity. If I said I don't want to hear anyone I would have difficulty living in the modern world. It would be my rule and its my fault if I made a rule that is unworkable. There is no basis to say that GM crops are harmful to us. even organic crops could be just as harmful if not more harmful. For example if you don't protect corn against insects they can get partly eaten and fungus grows producing aflatoxin which is natural but the most potent natural carcinogen. Bt GM cron reduces aflatoxin levels so in this case Bt corn is safer for you but no GM crop or organic crop can be labeled as safer. Bt corn reduces insecticide use by massive amounts each year ~25 millions acres used to be sprayed not Bt corn reduces that need by a massive amount. Gm crops also go through a testing approval process. It is logic based like any pharmaceutical and the data is submitted under penalty of perjury if it is falsified.

BIOTECH you are either

BIOTECH you are either ignorant or a Monsanto paid employee. Even newbies to this issue know that the government doesn't study GM food for safety. They allow Monsanto to submit their own studies, by researchers on their payroll. Do you REALLY think that is the same as a "testing approval process." And give me a break on the perjury thing. When was the last time you heard anyone from that industry going to jail? All that happens is they get fined--a tiny percentage of what it is actually worth to ram these "studies" through.

Sorry but cross contamination

Sorry but cross contamination can occur at quite large distances (miles not feet). Also that BT corn that you mention has a pesticide implanted in the corn that kills insects from the inside and this BT toxin is now present in humans and infants blood, what damage will it be causing ....cancers, bowel problems, immune problems+++ There has been a increase of chronic bowel problems since the introduction of these crops, and you think they are fine and dandy and good for us and our environment? By the way these crops do not go through a testing approval process, The FDA and USDA have given them help in filling out what is needed to push these crops through onto the public with very little testing. All outside, independent research have shown these crops to be dangerous and several countries have banned them. It is a shame that our State Dept twists arms to have them allowed in other countries.

For those of you who are

For those of you who are interested in the judges reasons please see the link below.

I would be interested to hear

I would be interested to hear what you would have to say about the plant's immune response to an outside attack. When a plant is attacked by a pest the plant produces a natural chemical immune response and it is this naturally occurring immune response that can increase the nutritional value of the plant.

However with GMOs you are doing this job for the plant thus causing harm two fold. You are introducing an artificial chemical response with harmful chemicals AND you are not allowing the natural defence systems to increase the nutritional value of the plant. In fact it is this natural response that makes vegetables so healthy in addition to the existence of vitamins and minerals.

These plants have survived for tens of thousands of years before Monsanto started it's deconstruction of plant DNA for the singular process of being a patent owner.

I am re-posting this. It is

I am re-posting this. It is consistently relevant to any and all articles and discussions concerning this malignant organization. Monsanto.... perhaps the most truly evil Corporation on the planet, and that is saying a lot. Any look into their machinations, legal, political, scientific or business strategy all point to this same conclusion. Corporations are granted licenses to exist and operate by the State. It is high time Monsanto's was pulled. Knowingly working for, investing in, or owning any part of this monstrous company is an affront to and a crime against humanity. Any losses incurred by its dismantling should be considered just punishment and none to stiff either as real and deadly crimes have and are being committed by this malignant company daily around the globe. Monsanto has a long and persistent history of criminal behavior. It has routinely paid off relatively insignificant fines -if detected and brought to justice at all- and moved onto its next criminal plan. Its size and corrupt political ties have allowed its survival and abetted its financial fluorishment and perverted world wide strategies. We the people need demand of our representatives that its plug be pulled and hope to God it is not too late.

Monsanto seems to always win

Monsanto seems to always win these court cases! Motion to dismiss??!! That means the judge wasn't even interested in hearing the plaintiffs argument!! Where can we find the judges reasons for this?

Bottom line Monsanto has to stop winning these court cases. They should be reviewed and poured through and this should not stop at simply stating that they courts are bought and owned by Monsanto. We need to review all court cases and determine what are these "bullet-proof" arguments Monsanto is making!

This is a new legal form of terrorism. I am literally afraid of my food!

Very Simple Solution ..We

Very Simple Solution ..We need to form a new group ..not the tea partyers or the let's try to talk guys, Or the let's build some signs and picket Guys..We need the let's Storm the F**&%ING Whitehouse and Throw the Bums out Kind of Guys..Then we need a smaller government made up of Teachers,Plummers,Mothers,Farthers etc. Not Overpaid Money Loving Assholes like we have now!!
Welcome Back To America Folks !!!

I don't get the "smaller

I don't get the "smaller government" thing.

If we had adequate regulations surrounding GMO issue we would need more government in the form of enforcement personnel.

I'm not in favor of private enforcement or self enforcement. That is only more fox guarding the chicken coop -what we have now.

I do agree with you that "real" people should make up our government, not already made millionaires that have lost any perspective on the world of working people.

(1) The pollen will

(1) The pollen will contaminate the organic, non gmo, farms. Rendering them useless.(2) Pollen drift is not a valid reason to shut down organic, non gmo farms.This case was more about the farmers wanting protection and from Monsanto.

Excellent point from

Excellent point from Indiosmith. Unfortunately, Monsanto is like the Mafia. You buy their seeds, or you go out of business.

Can someone answer a few

Can someone answer a few questions I have bout this situation.

(1) If the pollen drifts to non GMO or organic farms, why would the nonGMO or organic farmers want to use the seeds anyway?

(2) If pollen drift is a valid reason to shut down nonGMOs and organic farmers for patent infringement, wouldn't that make any organic and nonGMO illegal--since pollen can drift everywhere to all farms? In this instance, Monsantos could control all farms everywhere simply by infecting them.


yes DWDALLAM you are correct.

yes DWDALLAM you are correct. This judgement shows there is a very alarming thing happening in civil liberties all around the world and this is just some of it. Willy Nelson was targetted from the IRS only for standing up for farmers who were getting there land confiscated for making every payment but the banks decided to make a 'new deal' .. Its slave territory . Farmers are just part of the puzzle. Monsanto have been doing some very dirty stuff for a very long time and make no mistake this has been designed.

this cross contamination has

this cross contamination has alre4ady happened from what I read in the last 6 months. There basically are no truly organic seeds anymore thanks to the GMO's.

H - I wrote a comment to your

H - I wrote a comment to your comment and it didn't go through except for: "Gr8 words. Articulate and hopeful. I agree with all you say. I also feel through social networks: take SOPA (it deleted the rest). Can't write more now, but I follow your sentiment.

Gr8 words. Articulate and

Gr8 words. Articulate and hopeful. I agree with all you say. I also feel through social networks: take SOPA

Gr8 words. Articulate and

Gr8 words. Articulate and hopeful. I agree with all you say. I also feel through social networks: take SOPA

Judge Naomi Buchwald knows

Judge Naomi Buchwald knows what side of her GMO bread has margarine on it.

I don't know how long these corrupt judges and legislators can turn their eyes away from the epidemic of cancers, diabetes and other disorders continue to ravage our population. When my mother started working as a nurse many years ago, news of a patient with cancer was very RARE. But now it is quite common to hear about people getting all sorts of cancers. Why is that? Could it possibly be all the crap that we eat?

I won't wish cancer on Judge Naomi Buchwald or on anyone she knows. That would be a horrible thing to wish on anybody. But what kind of a stupid cow is Judge Naomi Buchwald to think that she can avoid the poisons that Monsanto is forcing us all to ingest.

Very Well Said...Very Well

Very Well Said...Very Well Said..Looks Like The Judge Got a Little Extra Spending Money from Monsatan Ohh Ohh Ohh Monsanto

I agree!

I agree!

Why can't organic farmers sue

Why can't organic farmers sue Monsanto for damages for producing a product which contaminates their crops, diminishing their value as organic produce?

Seems to very logical,

Seems to very logical, doesn't it? The organic farmers seeds are poisoned, unusable. Monsanto's infringement on their organic farm is destroying their business, robbing them of 'future profits'. These are the same arguments Monsanto uses and wins.
How much would any of us wager that these same arguments would hold up were they used against them?
The large corporations are robbing us of our democracy and it's time the people stand up to restore the rules that defined them as constructs of the state, rather than as 'persons'. Go to and sign the petition. Join that organization, or FreeSpeechForPeople, or CommonCause. These groups are working nationwide to demand an amendment to the Constitution to define that corporations are not people. It is this abomination which has set the legal precedent upon which most of these cases are ruled upon, and it must be stopped. If we don't do it now, it will be too late.

Revolution of one kind or

Revolution of one kind or another is coming - the only question is in what form will it arrive. The biosphere can not survive without a true revolution of mind and behavior.

This judge is a sellout,

This judge is a sellout, complicit in Monsanto's criminal activity!!!

We should all don our sabots

We should all don our sabots and do a dance on Monsanto's experimental plots of franken plants, and while we are at it, do a sabot dance on Monsanto's corporate execs. I hate to say this, but the corporations are winning the destructive war on the environment. Our victories are small, and few and far between - their's aren't. It probably is too late already, but we should step up the action beyond just groaning every time we feel their boots on our necks - they will not be content until there is complete destruction. Whether we want to see it or not, Monsanto's actions are violent actions that place our very lives in danger -- they are literally and physically attacking us. Even if this lawsuit is appealed and won, how much of a victory will it be when you step back and see the big picture in the context of all the damage that has already been done? It would ring very hollow.

What is a vcard? Do you mean

What is a vcard? Do you mean it's possible to contact this judge? I went to that URL that you listed, but I didn't know what to do next...



Somebody hack the judge's

Somebody hack the judge's bank accounts and see who pays into them. Why was this case heard at the federal court in Manhattan? This judge has probably never seen a farm in her life, unless she drives by the few that are left on the way to her "country" place in the Hamptons.

When corporations control all

When corporations control all 3 branches of government, what is an informed citizenry to do?

How? How about "The American

How? How about "The American Spring" The occupy movement needs a boost

Educate the uninformed

Educate the uninformed citizenry. And if that doesn't work… revolt!

Fat chance of educating the

Fat chance of educating the Fox "News" watchers and the Limbaugh listeners.

They believe the important issue is non-citizen Muslin commie Obama taking their guns and "freedom(s)" away. Duh.

Another win for one of those

Another win for one of those "persons" disguised as a corporation. Did this case have a chance in Manhattan?

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