!! History Commons Alert, Exciting News

Follow Us!

We are planning some big changes! Please follow us to stay updated and be part of our community.

Twitter Facebook

Seeds

Other

Project: Genetic Engineering and the Privatization of Seeds
Open-Content project managed by Derek, mtuck

add event | references

Monsanto has taken legal action against more than 525 farmers whom it has accused of illegally planting its patent-protected seeds. About half of these cases have so far ended with settlements ranging from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars each, according to Lisa Safarian, Monsanto’s intellectual property protection manager. The Washington Post reports that according to Safarian, Monsanto “has decided that the risk of alienating some farmers is more than offset by the benefit of being able to promise ‘a level playing field’ for the vast majority of honest customers.” Safarian says that money from the settlements are funding a Monsanto-created scholarship fund to help the children of farmers go to college. [Washington Post, 2/3/1999] The money also goes toward other educational programs, such as biotechnology acceptance programs. [Canadian Business, 10/8/1999] Farmers who choose to settle with Monsanto must pay the $12 ($15 CAD)/acre fee and all the profits from the illegally planted crop. The farmer must also sign a contract waiving his or her right to speak publicly about the settlement. Monsanto, on the other hand, explicitly reserves its right in the agreement to comment publicly on the matter. [Canadian Business, 10/8/1999]

Entity Tags: Lisa Safarian, Monsanto

Category Tags: Monsanto, Other

Monsanto files a lawsuit against Saskatchewan farmer Kelly Ryczak who it says illegally grew and sold the company’s patented Roundup Ready Canola seeds in 1999, 2000, and 2001. The company claims he “improperly obtained glyphosate-resistant canola seeds” from his father, Metro Ryczak, or another licensed farmer. [Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 7/19/2001] The lawsuit is settled in April 2002 with a settlement agreement requiring Ryczak to pay Monsanto an undisclosed sum of money over a period of several years. [Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 4/18/2002]

Entity Tags: Monsanto, Kelly Ryczak

Category Tags: Monsanto, Other

Monsanto says there are additional farmers, fewer than 100, who it believes are infringing on the patent they have for Roundup-resistant plants. “Whether or not those will go forward [to court] or not time will tell,” Monsanto spokeswoman Trish Jordan says. “Our preference is to settle these things out of court, but that doesn’t always happen.” [Canadian Press, 7/21/2001]

Entity Tags: Trish Jordan, Monsanto

Category Tags: Monsanto, Other

Two farmers from Saskatchewan, Larry Hoffman and Dale Beaudoin, file a class action lawsuit against Monsanto and Aventis alleging that the two companies’ genetically modified (GM) canola genes have infested their organic canola crops. The contamination has made it impossible for them to get their products certified as organic and as a result they are not able to sell it on the organic market. Arnold Taylor, president of Saskatchewan Organic Directorate (SOD), tells the Canadian Press that “it is almost impossible to buy uncontaminated seed let alone contend with contamination from pollen drift.” According to Marc Loiselle, a director with the same organization, organic grain and oilseed traders have zero tolerance for GM contamination. Representing the farmers is Terry Zakreski, the same lawyer who represents Percy Schmeiser. The suit is also seeking to stop the introduction of modified wheat, which the two companies are developing and which is expected to hit the market in a few years. “We have lost canola as a crop in our rotations because of genetic contamination, but we obviously cannot afford to lose wheat which is our largest crop and largest market,” Arnold Taylor says. [Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 10/12/2001; Canadian Press, 1/30/2002]

Entity Tags: Monsanto, Aventis, Larry Hoffman, Dale Beaudoin

Category Tags: Monsanto, Other

The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launch an investigation into allegations that Monsanto representatives paid bribes to Indonesian officials in an effort to advance its business interests there. The Justice Department and SEC were reportedly informed of the suspected bribery by Monsanto itself, which says it launched its own investigation after noticing irregularities in the accounting of its Jakarta-based subsidiary. [Wall Street Journal, 5/27/2004] The investigation lasts about three years. On January 6, 2005, the Justice Department and the SEC announce that Monsanto has agreed to pay a $1 million penalty to the Justice Department, which has charged the company with violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The company is also ordered to pay $500,000 to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As part of the settlement, Monsanto will allow an “independent compliance expert” to audit and monitor the company and to ensure there are no further breaches of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The company says it accepts full responsibility and has taken action against those involved. “We accept full responsibility for the improper activities that occurred in connection with our Indonesian affiliates,” says Lori Fisher, one of the company’s spokespersons. “Such behavior is not condoned nor accepted at Monsanto, and the people involved are no longer employed by Monsanto.” [Associated Press, 1/6/2001; Reuters, 1/7/2001; BBC, 1/7/2005; Sunday Herald, 1/9/2005]

Entity Tags: US Department of Justice, US Securities and Exchange Commission, Monsanto

Category Tags: Monsanto, Other, Indonesia

Ordering 

Time period


Email Updates

Receive weekly email updates summarizing what contributors have added to the History Commons database

 
Donate

Developing and maintaining this site is very labor intensive. If you find it useful, please give us a hand and donate what you can.
Donate Now

Volunteer

If you would like to help us with this effort, please contact us. We need help with programming (Java, JDO, mysql, and xml), design, networking, and publicity. If you want to contribute information to this site, click the register link at the top of the page, and start contributing.
Contact Us

Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, the textual content of each timeline is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike