Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers, Inc. (FOG)
“I have been a small farmer making a living off my farm for the past 26 years and it disturbs me that the biotech company Monsanto could place a lawsuit upon me and my farm for doing nothing more than being downwind from a GMO crop they have only recently developed.
“Monsanto not only threatens small and medium size farmers but also presents an environmental threat with loose gene material that has been proven to jump species of plants to form mutants without any liability on their behalf. Truly this is not only an ethical issue with regards to
“Monsanto’s directors and policy makers, it represents a basic violation of natural law in efforts to enhance corporate profits with no responsible position to the public for Monsanto’s actions.”
—Charles Andrews Hammock Hollow Farm
“As an advocate for organic farmers, it is crucial that FOG join the fight against Monsanto’s Round-Up Ready patents. If Monsanto is not stopped, it will soon become impossible for organic growers to avoid contamination by Monsanto’s genetically modified crops – which now include corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beets, cotton, and alfalfa.
“Monsanto has already filed hundreds of lawsuits and investigations against farmers who, through no fault of their own, have had their crops contaminated by pollen drift. The lawsuit not only challenges the validity of Monsanto’s patents, but also asks the court to declare that Monsanto cannot sue farmers for unintentional patent infringement.”
“If organic farmers, seed growers, and companies have no assurance that technology they have never asked for, never signed a licensing agreement to use, have no desire to be a part of, and in fact, go to great lengths to avoid, can still trespass on their farms and subject them to a lawsuit by the patent holder who seemingly escapes all liability for that trespass, then it is not only morally wrong, ethically unjust, but also legally perverse.
“There are many other issues of concern related to agricultural biotechnology that deserve close public scrutiny. A couple of quick examples: Bt resistance should be a huge concern for all farmers and environmentalists. Herbicide resistant weeds are causing Monsanto to now want to market seeds which will withstand 2,4-D, an even more persistent herbicide. If we cared about truly sustainable agriculture and not short term corporate profits, we would be teaching global farmers how to save seeds, compost on farm, and grow soil. These are techniques that have been proven successful for 10,000 years and can help reduce consumption of off farm inputs”
—Marty Mesh Executive Director of Florida Organic Growers
Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers, Inc. (FOG) is a Gainesville Florida based 501(c)(3) non-profit that has brought farmers, educators, policy makers, and the general public together since 1987 to support and contribute to organic and sustainable agriculture and healthy and just food systems. Focus areas include education, outreach, public policy, food systems improvement, national and international organic certification, social justice and advocacy.