On Tuesday, the Public Patent Foundation, a legal services foundation aimed at changing U.S. patent law, filed suit against Monsanto on behalf of organic interests. We’ve briefly read the allegations of the PUBPAT suit and press statement and find many of these allegations to be false, misleading and deceptive.
Here are the facts:
- It has never been, nor will it be Monsanto policy to exercise its patent rights where trace amounts of our patented seed or traits are present in farmer’s fields as a result of inadvertent means.
Biotechnology crops have provided a wealth of benefits to farmers and the environment. It is well established that farmers growing biotech crops realize many benefits including increased yields and lower production costs, and the use of these crops have resulted in an increase in the adoption of conservation tillage practices that reduce soil erosion. These benefits are the reason why farmers have overwhelmingly and willingly chosen to use these technologies year after year. These crops have been grown widely in the United States for the past 15 years, and have been planted on more than 2 billion acres by 15 million farmers throughout the world.
Plaintiffs’ allegations regarding patent validity are contrary to long established legal precedent which supports the validity of Monsanto’s patents and others in the biotechnology field.
The plaintiffs’ approach is a publicity stunt designed to confuse the facts about American agriculture. These efforts seek to reduce private and public investment in the development of new higher-yielding seed technologies. This attack comes at a time when the world needs every agricultural tool available to meet the needs of a growing population, expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050. While we respect the opinion of organic farmers as it relates to the products they choose to grow, we don’t believe that American agriculture faces an all-or-nothing approach. Rather we believe that farmers should have the ability to choose the best agricultural tools to farm their own land and serve their own end-market customers. We are confident that these multiple approaches can coexist side-by-side and sustainably meet the world’s food needs over next 40 years.
We stand behind the American farmer, remain committed to investing in new tools to help American agriculture meet the needs of our growing world, and are prepared to vigorously defend ourselves.