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Our Non-GMO Policy
Court of Appeals ruling on June 10th, 2013: Farmer and seed company plaintiffs are not entitled to sue Monsanto to protect themselves from transgenic seed patents because, in hearings for this lawsuit, "Monsanto has made binding assurances that it will not 'take legal action against growers whose crops might inadvertently contain traces of Monsanto biotech genes (because, for example, some transgenic seed or pollen blew onto the grower's land).'" The Court of Appeals stated that "While Monsanto’s representations are not a covenant
This is a partial victory because it means that farmers who are inadvertently contaminated with GMOs at less than 1% can speak up about how they were contaminated without fear of being sued by Monsanto.
We expect that plaintiffs will appeal this case to the Supreme Court.
In 2011, Southern Exposure joined 9 other members of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and over 80 total plaintiffs in taking a stand for the protection of organic seed. Plaintiffs include agricultural organizations, seed companies and farmers. This landmark lawsuit, filed on March 29th by the Public Patent Foundation in US District Court in New York, asks the courts to declare that plaintiffs will not be held liable if they become contaminated by Monsanto’s GMO genes and to declare Monsanto’s GMO patents invalid due to a lack of usefulness to society.
The amended complaint, filed on June 1st, 2011, including brief descriptions of each plaintiff.
The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA), lead plaintiff in the case, posts news about the lawsuit.
The Organic and Non-GMO Report - A monthly publication focusing on the threats posed by genetically engineered crops and foods. They also publish an annual directory, The Non-GMO Sourcebook, that lists global suppliers of non-GMO and organic seed, grains, food ingredients, and food products.
Center for Food Safety (also a plaintiff) - leading landmark lawsuits challenging genetically engineered alfalfa, fish and sugar beets.
The Organic Seed Alliance supports the ethical development and stewardship of seed.
The Non-GMO Project - general overview, non-GMO product verification.
Institute for Responsible Technology - general overview, news, action ideas, more detailed information about GMO risks and how GMO policy is made, and a variety of other resources, including collections in Spanish and Chinese.
Northwest Resistance Against Genetic Engineering - general overview, news with a global bent, contamination register, etc.
Say No to GMOs - great collection of articles, plus political action ideas
The Union of Concerned Scientists – information about GMOs for food and pharmaceutical use
The Nature Institute – descriptions of a broad range of documented, unintended effects of genetic manipulation; brief and in-depth versions.
Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners, and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we will not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately people and communities.
In the News
Learn about how Roundup Ready® GMO crops are creating new pathogens at Food Democracy Now! and sign the petitition to ask Sec. Vilsack to stop these seeds from being planted until further research is done.
Reversing roles, farmers sue Monsanto over GMO seeds.- grist.org. 3/31/2011
Monsanto Sued by Organic Farmers Over Modified-Seed Patents. Bloomberg. 3/29/2011.
Farmers, seed sellers sue Monsanto. St Louis Business Journal. 3/29/2011.
The Fight Against GMOs - Doctors weigh in on the dangers of eating genetically modified (GM) foods. The Share Guide. Jeffrey M. Smith.
No seeds, no independent research. The Los Angeles Times - Op-Ed. February 13, 2011. Doug Gurian-Sherman - "Doug Gurian-Sherman is a plant pathologist and senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington"
Monsanto blocks research on GMO safety. Food Source: Red Green & Blue. February 14, 2011. Jeremy Bloom.
If You Find Problems with Genetically Modified Foods: Watch Out! Natural Food List. January 24th, 2011. Jeffrey M. Smith.
Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear. Vanity Fair. May 2008. Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele. "Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination."
By Cricket Rakita