On January 13, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by organic farmers and others asking Monsanto to promise never to sue farmers if their fields inadvertently have plants containing the company’s patented genetically modified traits. A company lawyer said Monsanto had not sued for inadvertent use of its biotech seeds and didn’t plan to, but that it wouldn’t make a blanket promise to that effect. Monsanto has sued more than 100 farmers for patent infringement, winning judgments against those found using its seed without paying required royalties. The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and a group of dozens of organic and conventional family farmers and seed companies sued Monsanto in March 2011 to prohibit the company from suing farmers whose fields became inadvertently contaminated with corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, and other crops containing Monsanto’s genetic modifications.
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