Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ever consider Monsanto is right?

The organic root-chewing left lost a major battle this week after a federal judge dismissed a class-action lawsuit a group of organic farmers filed against Monsanto, the large agricultural company.

Monsanto puts a lot of resources into tweaking seeds on the genetic level, and customers of those seeds agree they will not replant the seeds next season. This allows Monsanto to control the supply of its own product and prevent any genetic drift in the crops.

But sometimes people try to cheat Monsanto by trying to replant the seeds for multiple seasons, and the company takes them to court over it. The earthy-crunchy folk consider Monsanto a secular devil, so they assume guilt anytime the agricultural company enters a courtroom. The claim that some of the seeds accidentally blow in to neighboring farms and take root, and innocent farmers are at risk of being brought to court.

This narrative is taken on blind faith, of course, and the evidence hasn't been enough to convince the courts. This week we saw the dismissal of
Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al. v. Monsanto Company et al. Some quotes from the judge were repeated in Monsanto's press release:

U.S. District Judge Naomi Buchwald found that plaintiffs' allegations were "unsubstantiated ... given that not one single plaintiff claims to have been so threatened." The ruling also found that the plaintiffs had "overstate[d] the magnitude of [Monsanto's] patent enforcement," noting that Monsanto's average of roughly 13 lawsuits per year "is hardly significant when compared to the number of farms in the United States, approximately two million."
There are plenty of news articles that repeated the same quotes. I'm only quoting from Monsanto to prevent link decay.

Monsanto's enemies have to resort to conspiracy theories to explain the failure of these lawsuits to hold up in court. Just like when
Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser was ruled in Monsanto's favor, I can already see the anti-GMO, anti-corporate activists swirling around this case, claiming the judge was somehow compromised.

What's more likely: An international conspiracy that controls the federal court systems in multiple nations, or Monsanto is innocent of some of the wild allegations from the fringe left?


  1. You're really not very concerned about things like facts or evidence based on science and investigation, are you? I'm not liberal or conservative, but realistically speaking there's absolutely zero objective measure by which monsanto is "innocent".

  2. Michael, I forget: What is your comment policy regarding responding to anonymous comments which don't add anything to the discussion?

  3. Anonymous, you didn't cite any facts or evidence while you accused Michael of not using facts or evidence. I'm not saying that you don't have a valid point to say, only that you aren't going to convince us unless you back it up with something.

    Incidentally, I like the use of the "What's more likely" hypothetical. I'm glad to see it being used in a way that doesn't counterpoint one conspiracy theory with another conspiracy theory and expect us to choose the more 'reasonable' one.

  4. I believe wheat could be characterized as genetically modified. No one is whining about that.

  5. I forgot about corn as well. Many consider corn to be the greatest feat of controlled genetics in human history.

    mmmm. Genetic modification.

  6. Hortensio, I think his point was that we should assume Monsanto is guilty by default, and he rejects the analysis of a judge as any form of credible evidence to the contrary.

    The burden of evidence is always on the claim maker, and the organic farmers failed to prove their narrative of Monsanto is credible. That reflects that the company is not guilty of these specific charges against it, and that's exactly what I said.

  7. why did Michelle Obama change her position on Organic food? Why did she close her organic garden at the white house? Lobbyists for Monsanto is the reason why.

    It is the same reason you don't grow hemp for Bio Fuel but you do grow GMO Corn which is less producing than hemp.

    Indian farmers are proving that conventional can produce more. Monsanto just guarantees all North American farmers buy the seed, and buy the pesticide.

    Mitt Rommney's campaign admitted that all food in his office was Organic and healthy, But Rommney himself has held ties with Monsanto since 1978.

    there may be a place for GMO food, but it needs to be labelled. Because if the Elites themselves aren't eating it, something can't be quite up to par can it?

  8. Taylor, I don't understand. Are you saying that Michelle was visited by lobbyists and given campaign money? Something is wrong here.

    Food can be organic and GMO, and there's nothing unhealthy about improving food with science.

    When you say it needs to be labeled you are blundering through a carefully considered topic. Labeling is needless and only stokes the fears of the ignorant.