How to look intimidating
I felt like I was in another country.”Gary Rinehart is actually one of Monsanto’s luckier targets. In a 2007 report, the Center for Food Safety, in Washington, D. Even more significant, in the Center’s opinion, are the numbers of farmers who settle because they don’t have the money or the time to fight Monsanto.“The number of cases filed is only the tip of the iceberg,” says Bill Freese, the Center’s science-policy analyst.Rinehart later learned that the company had been secretly investigating farmers in his area.
Those increased sales, coupled with ballooning sales of its Roundup weed killer, have been a bonanza for Monsanto.
Freese says he has been told of many cases in which Monsanto investigators showed up at a farmer’s house or confronted him in his fields, claiming he had violated the technology agreement and demanding to see his records.
According to Freese, investigators will say, “Monsanto knows that you are saving Roundup Ready seeds, and if you don’t sign these information-release forms, Monsanto is going to come after you and take your farm or take you for all you’re worth.” Investigators will sometimes show a farmer a photo of himself coming out of a store, to let him know he is being followed.
But farmers who buy Monsanto’s seeds can’t even do that. Supreme Court, in a five-to-four decision, turned seeds into widgets, laying the groundwork for a handful of corporations to begin taking control of the world’s food supply.
For centuries—millennia—farmers have saved seeds from season to season: they planted in the spring, harvested in the fall, then reclaimed and cleaned the seeds over the winter for re-planting the next spring. seeds that would resist its own herbicide, Roundup, offering farmers a convenient way to spray fields with weed killer without affecting crops. For nearly all of its history the United States Patent and Trademark Office had refused to grant patents on seeds, viewing them as life-forms with too many variables to be patented. In its decision, the court extended patent law to cover “a live human-made microorganism.” In this case, the organism wasn’t even a seed.In Iraq, the groundwork has been laid to protect the patents of Monsanto and other G. To be sure, more and more agricultural corporations and individual farmers are using Monsanto’s G. Faced with a federal lawsuit, Rinehart had to hire a lawyer.