Monsanto GMOs Defeated by Oregon Organic Farmers as Federal Judge Upholds Seed Ban. June 1st, 2015
Beyond congratulating the organic farmers in Oregon for this triumphant victory, this headline may be a game-changer for the GMO industry as a whole. As Steven Rosenfeld reports on AlterNet:
A coalition of Oregon organic farmers has beaten Monsanto—the corporate agriculture giant—in a landmark federal lawsuit that will make national waves by the way that their rural county banned the use of genetically modified seeds.
The legal challenge brought by commercial farmers who use Monsanto’s genetically modified alfalfa seeds was challenged by the non-organic farmers.Technically, the $350,000 fine is not a lot of money for a major corporate entity. In the fall of 2014, Montano posted total sales of $15.86 billion. At the same time Monsanto reported that the company lost $156 million in that quarter, presumably, one reason is that it spent a significant amount of money to defend the use of GMOs and destroy efforts to require labelling of GMO products.
This narrative is confusing since during the same quarter, two of the company’s most environmentally endangering business units, genetically-engineered seeds and herbicide, posted higher than average sales. Sales of biotech seeds increased to $1.38 billion, a 16 percent rise. Herbicide and agricultural product sales increased to 1.25 billion, a 23 percent rise.
Critical Art Ensemble‘s courageous challenge to Monsanto was less about fear of the unknowns associated with GMOs, and more about the almighty economic power wielded by this agriculture business giant that has dominated the bioengineered-seed business for years. Thus, this tale is has both a moral and a uplifting ending. It proves that ia few unauthorized artists and a group of non-corporate farmers can prevail when they stand up to the dictatorial powers of a global corporation.