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Class Action Against Monsanto Dismissed

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A federal court judge has dismissed a class action suit that sought to have agricultural biotechnology company Monsanto’s patents for genetically modified seeds cancelled.

As the named plaintiffs, the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association claimed that they feared lawsuits from Monsanto if the member farmers planted crops for which Monsanto holds patents, such as corn, alfalfa, and soybeans.

But Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled that the plaintiffs had no standing to bring the lawsuit as they had not suffered any damages at the hands of the company. Buchwald called the organization’s lawsuit “a transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists.”

This lawsuit is the most recent in a string of negative publicity the company has received in recent years; Monsanto, the leading producer of genetically engineered seeds, was named the Worst Company of 2011 by the Natural Society and generally has a poor reputation among organic farmers who say they fear lawsuits by the multinational company despite this most recent ruling.

The corporation’s website, however, defines its purpose as “to work alongside farmers . . . by selling seeds, traits developed through biotechnology, and crop protection chemicals.”

Just this past week, Monsanto settled class action lawsuits with West Virginia residents who had claimed to suffer from health problems they alleged were because of a Monsanto plant nearby, pledging to contribute up to $90 million to “clean-up, remediation and medical monitoring” according to Reuters.

Have you been following Monsanto’s legal entanglements in the news?

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March 1st, 2012 at 11:19 am