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Monsanto Blacklists Naughty Growers

Four southern Ontario farmers fined a total of over $90,000 for unlicensed use of Roundup Ready soybeans are the first to be banned from future use of Monsanto’s patented genetics under its “violator exclusion” policy.

“One of the more significant outcomes of the case against these four growers is that it marks the first time Monsanto has implemented its violator exclusion policy,” the Winnipegbased Canadian wing of the U. S. seed and ag chem firm said in a release Monday.

“Under this policy, violators who do not reach a settlement with Monsanto and whose violation results in Monsanto having to go to court, lose all access to current and future Monsanto technologies.”

The four growers’ fines vary between $66 per acre and $185 per acre, the company said, for amounts owing to Monsanto between $9,228 and $62,748.

The court case, which dates back to the fall of 2005 and most recently involved a ruling on costs in July this year, is now awaiting a decision on whether an appeal by the four farmers will be allowed, Monsanto said.

The company said Federal Court Justice Russel Zinn “soundly rejected” the four growers’ arguments that they should only be required to pay the licence fees they didn’t pay for buying Roundup Ready soybeans through proper channels, and that they made no profit from growing the Roundup Ready crops.

Monsanto Canada “is satisfied the Federal Court of Canada has sent a strong message that there are significant consequences associated with infringing our patent and we expect this will dissuade growers from infringing our patents in the future,” the company said.

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