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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Courts - More on "Indiana Farmer Tackling Monsanto's Seed Policy Gets A Day In Supreme Court"

Updating this ILB entry from Oct. 17, 2012, Alison Frankel's "On the Case" column today is headed "Supreme Court conundrum: How far does a soybean seed patent go?" begins:

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Vernon Hugh Bowman is the rare Indiana soybean farmer destined for immortality as a U.S. Supreme Court caption.

Bowman had the temerity to attempt to outwit Monsanto, the giant agriculture company that, as you surely know, invested hundreds of millions of dollars and years of research in the creation of soybean seeds that are genetically modified to withstand the herbicide glyphosate, which Monsanto markets as Roundup. The genetically modified seeds, according to the Supreme Court brief Monsanto filed Wednesday, have been such a hit with farmers that more than 90 percent of the U.S. soybean crop begins with Monsanto's Roundup Ready seeds. Given that every soybean plant produces enough seeds to grow 80 more plants -- and that soybeans grown from Roundup Ready seeds contain the genetic modification of glyphosate resistance -- Monsanto has insisted that farmers sign licensing agreements with strict restrictions. Soybean producers are only supposed to use the Roundup Ready seeds they buy to grow crops in a single season, and they're forbidden from planting second-generation seeds harvested from first-generation crops.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 17, 2013 03:53 PM
Posted to Courts in general