The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from a coalition of 73 organic and conventional farmers, small seed companies and public advocacy interests that had sued Monsanto in March 2011 seeking a preemptive pledge from the company not to sue if a farmer’s field cross pollinated with corn, soybeans, cotton, canola or other crops with patented genetic traits.
The group had previously lost in district court and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Monsanto had refused to agree to a preemptive pledge, saying a “blanket covenant” not to sue any present or future member of the organizations would enable “virtually anyone to commit intentional infringement.”
Although anti-GMO groups have contended that farmers are worried that they could be sued in cases of cross pollination–they call it “contamination”–neither Monsanto nor any other agri-business has ever initiated such a suit against a conventional or organic farmer when the pollination was unintentional. In addition, no organic farmer has ever been denied certification for inadvertent cross pollination.
“Monsanto never has and has committed it never will sue if our patented seed or traits are found in a farmer’s field as a result of inadvertent means,” said Kyle McClain, the company’s chief litigation counsel.
SCOTUS apparently agreed, and denied the appeal.
Read full original article: Top U.S. court refuses to hear appeal of Monsanto seed case