This is a Call to Action for a Non-Hierarchical Occupation of Monsanto Everywhere
Whether you like it or not, chances are Monsanto contaminated the food you ate today with chemicals and unlabeled GMOs. Monsanto controls much of the world's food supply at the expense of food democracy worldwide. This site is dedicated to empowering citizens of the world to take action against Monsanto & it's enablers like the FDA, USDA, EPA, GMA, BIO, and the processed food companies that use Monsanto's products.
Political heavyweight Monsanto took on an Indiana soybean farmer today in the U.S. Supreme Court over Monsanto’s patents of its Roundup-resistant seed.
And, once again, Justice Clarence Thomas was on the bench, hearing the case with the other justices. Thomas worked as a corporate lawyer for Monsanto in the 1970s. Thomas has participated in at least one other case involving the company, Monsanto v. Geertson, which resulted in a favorable decision for Monsanto; Thomas joined the majority in that case.
Some have criticized Thomas’ participation in cases involving a previous employer. Monsanto is so used to the question that it gets space on the company website.
Thomas knows something about the subject of today’s case: In 2001, he authored an important decision in this field, J. E. M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, which — while it didn’t involve Monsanto — held that new, developed plant breeds are patentable.
At issue today were Monsanto’s patents of its herbicide-resistant seed. Monsanto requires farmers to use its purchased seed for just one planting cycle; they must buy new seed every spring. Farmer Vernon Bowman has not reused any of the soybean seeds hepurchased. However, Monsanto’s patent does allow growers to sell second-generation seed to a grain elevator, where Bowman purchased his seed and has been planting it in some of his fields since 1999.
That’s where Monsanto took issue. It claims Bowman’s use of the second-generation seed infringed the company’s patent rights, even if it was sold by a third party and is not the original Monsanto seed, but descended from it. Monsanto won its case in a lower federal court.
Monsanto typically reaches a settlement with farmers it has sued for patent infringement. This time, The Guardian reports, the case traveled to the Supreme Court because 75-year-old Bowman — already bankrupt from an unrelated land deal — couldn’t pay damages and is fighting the case with literally nothing to lose.
Monsanto itself contributed more than $500,000 to federal candidates in the last election cycle, primarily favoring Republicans. Monsanto spent nearly $6 million on lobbying in 2012, down from its $8.8 million record in 2008. That’s still enough to keep Monsanto the big guy on the agribusiness block — it has spent the most on lobbying by far in the industry since 2008; the American Farm Bureau is the only other to even come close. The majority, by far, of Monsanto’s lobbyists have made at least one trip through the revolving door; in-house lobbyist Michael Holland, Jr., for instance, logged 13 years working for various House Republicans before he jumped to Monsanto in 2011.
The Obama administration pushed the Court not to take the case in the first place, echoing concerns of those filing briefs for Monsanto that a reversal of the lower court’s decision could adversely affect other patents involving DNA, nanotechnology or other self-replicating technology, according to the Huffington Post.
It’s not surprising that of the 73 Senators who voted against (‘Nay’) the amendment, 37 Senators, or over 50%, received a combined total of $237,500 in campaign contributions from Monsanto’s PAC. Only 2 Senators, Senator Inouye from Hawaii & Senator Leahy from Vermont, who received a combined total of $8,000 from Monsanto’s PAC, voted in support (‘Yea’) of the GMO labeling amendment.
Monsanto’s GMO Money is rampant in the halls of Congress and the corporation’s patented genes are becoming a biohazard to the health of American democracy. With nearly half of American U.S. Senators becoming genetically mutated, we must take action to remove Monsanto’s GMO Money from the currency supply. Do you have plans for the third week of September? Yea.
Note: These figures are only from Monsanto’s PAC. Congress receives millions of dollars from the biotech industry as a whole, undoubtedly influencing their vote against the people’s right to know if they are eating GMOs.
Throwing around a few grand here & few grand there to buy off politicians is really nickels & dimes compared to the vast amount of money Monsanto has spent lobbying Congress.
Over the last 10 years Monsanto has spent over $52 million dollars making sure they get the most favorable legislation possible. Of that $52 million, nearly $11 million was paid to outside lobbying firms (listed below) to lobby on behalf of Monsanto, while the rest of the total (over $40 million) was spent on Monsanto’s staff lobbyists.
The results? More pesticides, more GMOs, and more of why we will Occupy Monsanto this fall!
Grand total spent by Monsanto: $52,499,730 Total spent on Monsanto’s own lobbyists: $41,786,230 Total paid to lobbying firms: $10,713,500
Russell Group (formerly Lesher & Russell & Russell & Barron, Inc)
Source: Center for Responsive Politics (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) Note #1: When compiling this list it was shown that many of the lobbying firms no longer exist because many of the lobbyists merged their firms together. When a firm was found to have merged with another, the dirty money Monsanto paid them was added together in the table above. Note #2: In 2000 Monsanto merged with Pharmacia & Upjohn and was later spun off into the “New Monsanto.” However, the data for 2002 includes Pharmacia as Monsanto’s parent company and show that there was lobbying money spent on the pharmaceutical industry. For the table above, only the lobbying money spent on Agricultural Services & Products was included.