Five million Brazilian farmers are locked in a lawsuit with US-based biotech giant Monsanto, suing for as much as 6.2 billion euros. They say that the genetic-engineering company has been collecting royalties on crops it unfairly claims as its own.

The farmers claim that Monsanto unfairly collects exorbitant profits every year worldwide on royalties from “renewal” seed harvests. “Renewal” crops are those that have been planted using seed from the previous year’s harvest. While the practice of renewal farming is an ancient one, Monsanto disagrees, demanding royalties from any crop generation produced from its genetically-engineered seed. Because the engineered seed is patented, Monsanto not only charges an initial royalty on the sale of the crop produced, but a continuing 2 per cent royalty on every subsequent crop, even if the farmer is using a later generation of seed.
In essence, Monsanto argues that once a farmer buys their seed, they have to pay the global bio-tech giant a yearly fee in perpetuity – with no way out.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I partly blame the Home Brew Computer Club for this our legal patent/copyright perversions. Do you really need me to connect the dots? Just look at 2 of it’s past members, Bill Gates & Steve Jobs.

    Now, be sure to go out and consume more products that made guys like that rich. Be sure to support those empires. And most of all, be sure to sit right there and do nothing other than bitch and blog about things you could have prevented.

    Be a good little dumb-“asses” and be sure to support your political fascist hero’s too. It’s not like anyone hasn’t been telling you about that train wreck either.

    • DonW1234 says:

      That’s taking it a little too far.

      You don’t have to pay Microsoft or Apple for an operating system if you don’t want to, you can use Linux for free.

      With Monsanto and their seeds you apparently have to pay them forever. Big difference.

    • GregAllen says:

      Yes, the software industry played a role in our rediculous patent and copyright laws.

      But it’s all of industry. Disney played a huge role, too.

      They bought our politicians who gave them patent and copyright laws that narrowly help the corporations but don’t serve the greater good.

  2. RS says:

    You don’t like the contract, don’t buy the product.

    Monsanto is not evil, just really stupid

    • GregAllen says:

      You live in a simplistic world, if you think farmers have that much choice.

  3. Paying for seeds every year isn’t the only reason to avoid Monsanto and GMO foods. Foods that are genetically modified cause damage to your liver, kidneys and other organs that detoxifiy your body. Which means it won’t take that long to get you seriously ill…

    • Dallas says:

      You’re overdue for your meds

      • GregAllen says:

        Med? Really?

        Dude you need some new lines for your meaningless, dismissive responses.

        Like most Americans, I eat GMO’s and don’t give them much thought. But lots of people are concerned about GMOs and I’m glad they are. The potential to really screw up is high here.

    • Maxine W. Burke says:

      “Paying for seeds every year isn’t the only reason to avoid Monsanto and GMO foods. Foods that are genetically modified cause damage to your liver, kidneys and other organs that detoxifiy your body.”

      Oh yeah i read in an article ( that Monsanto company were the worst company in 2011. They are too bad with their GMO products.

  4. sargasso_c says:

    I can’t believe I am having to write this, but Monsanto and other US based multinational corporations are the engineers of the modern agricultural miracle. That five times more food is grown on an acre of land, sustainably, than in 1945. That crops use fewer pesticides than they did in 1890. And about half the water. That is a huge ecological bonus by any measure. The down side? Well, I think we’ve already covered that.

    • GregAllen says:

      The other downside of GMOs is to massively screw up.

      When humans play God and monkey with nature, the potential unforeseen consequences are endless.

      • Grey Bird says:

        I’m sorry that’s too funny! “When humans play God and monkey…”

  5. Some Scientist says:

    Monsanto is being demonized in the press, and rightly so, their IP enforcement practices are despicable. On the other hand, the science that is behind all of this is wonderful, amazing, life saving stuff.
    Golden Rice, and other crops of that ilk save thousands of lives every year and this is technology that is worth investigating. Unfortunately the extremely high cost of this research leads to the horrible IP enforcement practices.
    If it costs them billions of dollars to invent a better crop that can then be shared without limit who can be expected to invest in this?
    As others have pointed out, it’s like the music/motion picture industry, except their initial investment, and thus the harm done by unlawful distribution, is much, much larger.

  6. Gazbo says:

    So if corporations are people, why can’t we bludgeon them to death in a dark alley?

  7. some guy says:

    “A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.”
    –Bertrand de Jouvenal

  8. GregAllen says:

    If you haven’t seen Food, Inc. I highly recommend it. The film covers this subject and more.

    It’s a little dated but, if anything, it’s worse now.

    It’s all on YouTube.

  9. GregAllen says:

    >> Gazbo says:
    >> So if corporations are people, why can’t we bludgeon them to death in a dark alley?

    Or give a corporation the death penalty if they kill people?

    Or kill other corporations?

    Since corporations are people, we need to start treating them like people.

  10. Daws says:

    Um, I see a way out. Don’t buy their seeds next year.

    As for breeding new generations with their seeds that’s simply a violation of the contract, and frankly seems like a weasily way to get around it.

    “Oh we’re not using your seeds we’re just using seeds cross bred from them that happen to keep the traits that were the whole reason for our buying your seeds in the first place, that you spent millions researching and developing and testing, and wouldn’t exist if you hadn’t put them in there.

    Thanks for letting us take it for free, see ya!”

    Yeah I don’t think so…


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