Podcast #13 – Notes and Links for “Turning the Tables: Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto”

The “upcoming” podcast mentioned a few days ago is now up. You can listen to or download the show, “Turning the Tables: Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto,” to get part of the back story about why 83 organic seed growers, farmers, and organizations are suing GMO seed giant (and manufacturer of RoundUp) Monsanto.

You can also check out my original post on the suit, written a couple of days after it was filed last spring, for some background.

In the course of the show, many sins are laid at Monsanto’s feet: that genetically modified crops don’t increase yields as promised, that they may give rise to an organism that causes miscarriages in cattle, that they have fostered a race of super weeds, that Monsanto routinely engages in intimidating tactics, that it has sued thousands of farmers.

In this post, I present a few of the articles I’ve collected that help substantiate these claims. Some of these articles were actually mentioned  by my guests; others were not.

This post is a work in progress; I’ll probably update it more than once.

–updated Dec. 21, 2011: added 3 citations under 2 new categories: GMO Canola Runs Wild and GMOs harm soil rhizosphere.


Jim Gerritsen, President of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) and owner of Wood Prairie Farm.
—named an Utne Reader Visionary of the Year. See “Jim Gerritsen: Organic Food Champion,” Utne Reader, Nov.-Dec. 2011.

Daniel Ravicher, Executive Director of Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT ), affiliated with Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
—for more about PUBPAT, patents, patent law, and issues regarding intellectual property, check out the video on the “about” page of the PUBPAT website. It’s of a speech given by Daniel Ravicher at Google Inc. in August of 2008.

Links and Resources
Related cases

“Judge Invalidates Human Gene Patent,”  John Schwartz and Andrew Pollack, The New York Times, March 29, 2010.

“Ruling Upholds Gene Patent in Cancer Test,” NY Times, July 29, 2011.

“Divided Appeals Court Rules That Companies May Patent Breast Cancer Genes, but  Invalidates Patents on Comparing the Genes,”  ACLU online, July 29, 2011.

“Wafting poison makes fertile ground for suit in Stearns County,” by Josephine Marcotty, Minneapolis Star Tribune Updated: July 26, 2011.

Labeling of G.M.O. foods

“Why Aren’t G.M.O. Foods Labeled?” Mark Bittman, NY Times, February 15, 2011

“Further Reading on Genetic Engineering and Food,” Mark Bittman, NY Times, Feb. 18, 2011
—this gives what Bittman calls “some of the most interesting articles” he consulted for the article above.


“Genetic Engineering No Match for Evolution of Weed Resistance,” by Gayathri Vaidyanathan and Climatewire, Scientific American, April 14, 2010.
–“A new report finds weed resistance to pesticides growing alongside genetically engineered crops–highlighting a need for better farming practices.”

Crop Yields

“Genetic Engineering Has Failed to Significantly Boost U.S. Crop Yields Despite Biotech Industry Claims,” Union of Concerned Scientist April 14, 2009.

GMO Canola Runs Wild

“Canadian GM canola escapes into wild: study” Margaret Munro, Leader Post (Regina)Postmedia News October 6, 2011
“Genetically Modified Crop on the Loose and Evolving in U.S. Midwest” David BielloScientific American, August 6, 2010
—“ GM canola plant refugees from farms in North Dakota bear multiple transgenic traits.”

GMOs harm soil rhizosphere

“Microbial diversity in wheat rhizosphere as affected by genetically modified Pseudmonas putida WCS358r” (PDF) Mareike Viebahn et al, IOBC Bulletin, Vol. 29 (2) 2006 167-172.

first sentence: “ Introduction of genetically modified micro-organisms (GMOs) in the environment can lead to perturbations of soil ecosystems.”

Health Issues

“Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Crops Contain Organism Causing Animal Miscarriages, Scientist Says,” Joanna Zelman, The Huffington Post, Feb. 23, 2011.


“Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear,”  Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, Vanity Fair, May 2008.
the article mentioned by Jim Gerritsen, about Monsanto’s tactics of intimidation.

“Monsanto Successfully Intimidates Missouri Farmers for ‘Crime’ of Seed Saving,” Organic Consumer’s Association from St. Louis Post-Dispatch, via TradingMarkets.com, September 2, 2008
“Monsanto, Missouri co-op reach settlement on seed use.”

Farmers sued by Monsanto

“Monsanto Sues Dairy in Maine Over Label’s Remarks on Hormones,” David Barboza, NYTimes, July 12, 2003.

“Monsanto Successfully Intimidates Missouri Farmers for ‘Crime’ of Seed Saving,” Organic Consumer’s Association from St. Louis Post-Dispatch, via TradingMarkets.com, September 2, 2008
“Monsanto, Missouri co-op reach settlement on seed use.”

“Monsanto vs. Pilot Grove Coop: protecting patents or bullying farmers?” Alan Scher Zagier/The Associated Press The Missourian, July 10, 2008, July 22, 2008.

Cases Against Monsanto

“Monsanto guilty in ‘false ad’ row,” BBC News, Oct. 29, 2009

“France’s highest court has ruled that US agrochemical giant Monsanto had not told the truth about the safety of its best-selling weed-killer, Roundup.”

“Monsanto agrees to pay fine of $2.5 million,” Associated Pr., St Louis Post-Dispatch, July 9, 2010.
—“Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed maker, agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine for failing to disclose to buyers of its insect-killing cotton seed that the product wasn’t approved for planting in certain parts of Texas.”

“Justice Department Investigates Possible Monsanto Monopoly,” Frank Morris, NPR All Things Considered, Jan 14, 2010.

“Monsanto’s Higher Income Clouded by S.E.C. Inquiry,” Reuters NY Times, June 29, 2011.
“The company has been offering farmers who use Monsanto products cash incentives to help them battle weeds that have grown resistant to Monsanto’s glyphosate products, namely Roundup.”

“Monsanto, Bayer and Dow face trial for ‘systematic human rights abuses’,” Matilda Lee, The Ecologist, 16th November, 2011
—a largely symbolic “trial” brought by the Permanent People’s Tribunal, from Dec. 3-6, 2011, in Bangalore, India.

One Response to Podcast #13 – Notes and Links for “Turning the Tables: Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto”

  1. I am really happy you are spending so much attention on this issue. I have known about the tactics of Monsanto for a few years now but after seeing the movie ” Gardens of Destiny” I was even more shocked about the extend of the damages companies like Monsanto does. We need to make more people aware of this so thank you for doing this!

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