Mississippi farmers must pay damages to Monsanto for stealing seeds

| November 26, 2013
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A federal judge has denied a motion for a new trial for a north Mississippi company sued by Monsanto for saving seeds from one harvest and planting them the following season. GMO seeds, like all hybrid seeds used by conventional and even organic farmers, are patented and cannot legally be saved. Farmers buy hybrid seeds each year because the increased yields more than cover the cost of buying new patented seeds each year. Anti-GMO activists often contend there should be no patent on the seeds, which are products of nature.

Monsanto had originally sued Mitchell and Eddie Scruggs, the owners of the company, in 2001, and a federal judge ruled against the family in 2004, finding that they had violated Monsanto’s licensing requirements. The Scruggs’s appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington in 2006 and again lost. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case. The case then returned to Mississippi, where District Judge Michael Mills ruled that the family owes Monsanto $6.3 million for damages, affirming a jury ruling in 2010.

Read the full, original story here: Mississippi farmers lose Monsanto seed-saving case

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