Connecting agricultural biodiversity to environmental justice

When the U.S. Supreme Court held last year that farmers can be liable for damages if they use patented seeds for more than one planting, the decision highlighted a debate over growers’ rights, intellectual property and agricultural sustainability. Ruling in an Indiana case, the high court upheld an $84,456 verdict in favor of agri-giant Monsanto Co. over farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman in what NPR described as a David vs. Goliath battle.

In its Supreme Court brief, Monsanto argued that letting Bowman – and other farmers – to use regenerated, genetically modified seed without the company’s permission would ” devastate innovation in biotechnology.”

But farmers’ rights to save, exchange and sell seeds are also fundamentally a distributive justice issue regarding equitable rights to seeds as resources, to biodiversity as an environmental good, to jobs and income as socioeconomic goods and the peasant way of life as a cultural good.

Read the full, original article: From Indiana to Latvia, connecting the seeds of environmental justice, agricultural biodiversity

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