Update on PUBPAT (Monsanto) Lawsuit (2012)
See article on Fedco joining lawsuit against Monsanto here. For the latest oral arguments click: http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/oral-argument-recordings/2012-1298/all
From its outset, it was clear that achieving standing to sue would be the biggest hurdle in our lawsuit against Monsanto. Even where statutes permit, courts are very reluctant to grant pre-emptive relief in the absence of clear, specific and incontrovertible economic damages. Unfortunately, Judge Buchwald, presiding over the suit against Monsanto in the Southern District of New York, was unpersuaded by our argument that given the inevitability of contamination from Monsanto’s transgenics such damages were sure to follow. In March, she granted Monsanto’s motion to dismiss. Shortly thereafter our Work Collective voted to join 74 other of the original 83 plaintiffs in appealing her ruling. The appeal, to be heard in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals within a 9-15 month timetable, is limited to the narrow procedural grounds of whether Judge Buchwald ruled wrongly according to law to dismiss the case. The review is confined to the case record to date so that plaintiffs cannot introduce new facts, new evidence or cite new studies in this phase, although our counsel has submitted supporting arguments from amici. Each side writes only one brief and is limited to 15 minutes oral argument without response. If the appeal is granted, the case is remanded to District Court to Judge Buchwald, at which point the factual record can be re-opened. If the appeal is denied, plaintiffs have the right to petition the Supreme Court for review, but that Court grants only a tiny fraction of such pleas.
The lawsuit was filed by The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), a not-for-profit legal services organization affiliated with the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. It seeks to invalidate 23 of the gene giant’s transgenic patents on the grounds that they lack beneficial social utility and original art and asks the court, even if it finds the patents valid, to enjoin Monsanto from enforcing them on plaintiffs who are inadvertently contaminated by Monsanto’s genetics.
See also http://www.fedcoseeds.com/seeds/monsanto.htm
for our definitive 2006 statement on why we do not purchase seed
from Monsanto or any of its subsidiaries.