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Author Topic: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law  (Read 1335 times)

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Offline lisarTopic starter

Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« on: September 24, 2013, 07:34:36 AM »
I'm not sure if this is the right forum or not  - I love the way that Jon Stewart's show can exploit the holes we have in our laws/systems. 


Jon Stewart Monsanto & Seed Patent Laws

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2013, 08:12:55 AM »
I like that.  "Monsanto please don't sue us."

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2013, 10:11:46 AM »
I think that Monsanto is a very dangerous company with practices that are leading us down the path to a BIG problem. For one thing bio-diversity is shrinking in the crops they push, they have literally destroyed a cycle of practice that has gone on since the dawn of civilization.  Round up toleramy weeds and pests are starting to appear and they want to start with even MORE GM crops.

Don't get me started on their shenadegans. 

Offline Shjade

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 11:32:36 AM »
If that farmer's right about 93% market share...how is there no monopoly issue in play?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 02:41:28 PM »
It's not in ALL crop fields (yet) but it's bad. Last year they had lawsuit against GM crop producers by a group of Organic farmers .. asserting they were destroying their livelihood with cross-contamination (a fun note.. they (Monsanto) had used the same defense to destroy HUNDREDS of farms).. but the Organic group lost in Monsanto's 'corner stall' circuit court.


Offline Valthazar

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Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 03:32:25 PM »
The issue is that farmers are voluntarily choosing to use Monsanto seed products, and then saving some of those seeds to regrow more the following year - rather than purchasing a fresh new supply from Monsanto for the following year.  If more and more farmers did this, Monsanto would no longer have a profit incentive to keep innovating seed products.

If farmers want to opt-out of using Monsanto seeds, that's perfectly fine.  But if they are choosing to use Monsanto seeds, and not willing to honor the patents on the specific, genetic-modification process, then they are basically ripping off the continuous hard work of Monsanto engineers.

The Daily Show is a fun show to watch, but Jon Stewart's take on this issue is more for entertainment.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 03:36:05 PM by ValthazarElite »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 03:55:06 PM »
The issue is that farmers are voluntarily choosing to use Monsanto seed products, and then saving some of those seeds to regrow more the following year - rather than purchasing a fresh new supply from Monsanto for the following year.  If more and more farmers did this, Monsanto would no longer have a profit incentive to keep innovating seed products.

If farmers want to opt-out of using Monsanto seeds, that's perfectly fine.  But if they are choosing to use Monsanto seeds, and not willing to honor the patents on the specific, genetic-modification process, then they are basically ripping off the continuous hard work of Monsanto engineers.

The Daily Show is a fun show to watch, but Jon Stewart's take on this issue is more for entertainment.

Uh.. actually no. The majority of the folks who are being sued/ruined by Monsanto THESE days are NOT buying their stock but having their crops pollinated by the GM crops and then having Monsanto sue them for 'Theft of IP'. That was why the organic farmers last year sued them.

Not everyone is 'stealing' the GM products. Seed reclaimation services are being sued for reclaiming 'tainted' crop and 'aiding and abetting', folks downwind of GM crops are 'stealing IP' by letting their crops grow without giving Monsanto a cut.

It is NOT as cut and dried as you would suggest. And if you want some REAL fun..c heck out their antics overseas particularly in India and other 2nd world nations.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2013, 08:38:55 PM »
It's also getting harder and harder to 'opt out' of using seeds if more and more of the seed stock is coming from Monsanto.  I have a tomato plant growing in my backyard.  I have no idea where the seeds came from - they sprouted from the compost I had made from store-bought produce leavings (that last slice that doesn't have a sandwich to go on, but wasn't big enough to save for a later date).  I'm likely going to get peppers the same way.  (I really meant to buy plants, but - hey!)

In theory, some of that produce could be Monsanto-produced.  The tomato plant has already reseeded its plot, due to me forgetting to check it daily and letting a windfall rot.  In theory, Monsanto could claim I was stealing their IP by letting my tomato plant do what tomato plants have done since they evolved.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2013, 08:52:06 PM »
It's not in ALL crop fields (yet) but it's bad. Last year they had lawsuit against GM crop producers by a group of Organic farmers .. asserting they were destroying their livelihood with cross-contamination (a fun note.. they (Monsanto) had used the same defense to destroy HUNDREDS of farms).. but the Organic group lost in Monsanto's 'corner stall' circuit court.

I don't know much about Monsanto in general but I was following that lawsuit for unrelated reasons.  And that's kinda not even remotely what actually happened.

The farmers demanded that if cross contamination were to occur Monsanto wouldn't come a knockin'.  Monsanto said no, of course we won't, besides we wouldn't have a leg to stand on if we did.  The farmers sued Monsanto for refusing to sign a contract saying they wouldn't, the case was thrown out of court in seconds to the resounding laughter of the judge.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2013, 09:16:19 PM »
I don't know much about Monsanto in general but I was following that lawsuit for unrelated reasons.  And that's kinda not even remotely what actually happened.

The farmers demanded that if cross contamination were to occur Monsanto wouldn't come a knockin'.  Monsanto said no, of course we won't, besides we wouldn't have a leg to stand on if we did.  The farmers sued Monsanto for refusing to sign a contract saying they wouldn't, the case was thrown out of court in seconds to the resounding laughter of the judge.

Yet Monsanto has done similar actions to farmers in the past. Their seeds have migrated to OTHER farmers and their agents have gone through their fields. There have been MANY charges of Monsanto agents sneaking onto properties for 'proof'.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2013, 09:27:45 PM »
Must have missed those stories.  Do you have any links?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2013, 09:40:22 PM »
Must have missed those stories.  Do you have any links?

I lost a lot of those links.. but I know that Food Inc (a documentary)had a lot of the cases cited..

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/12/25/percy-schmeiser-farmer-who-beat-monsanto.aspx
http://www.salon.com/2013/09/16/monsanto_could_get_away_with_gmo_contamination/singleton/

(I really wish my tablet hadn't been slicked.. I had a few more.. it's hard to find sites that aren't 'fringey' on the subject. After Monsanto's quashing of the BGH expose down here in florida, few mainstream media outlets seem eager to report pro/con on the subject.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 09:42:07 PM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2013, 09:48:55 PM »
I'll have to check that documentary.  Obviously those two links are about, respectively,  a) a precedent setting court case where Monsanto were found to not be legally allowed to do what you claim they're doing and b) nothing to do with patent infringement.  I've dug up nothing as well. 

I'll hunt down that documentary.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2013, 10:02:46 PM »
I'll have to check that documentary.  Obviously those two links are about, respectively,  a) a precedent setting court case where Monsanto were found to not be legally allowed to do what you claim they're doing and b) nothing to do with patent infringement.  I've dug up nothing as well. 

I'll hunt down that documentary.

One thing I find very very curious.. is a large number of their cases were in one specific circuit court.

While I don't like using wiki for references in this sort of discussion.. the sources on that page are very very very long. So I'll toss in the wiki link and let you look around like I did

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto#Other_legal_actions_in_North_America

Some of their actions overseas are particularly nasty.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2013, 10:12:11 PM »
No mention there of them suing farmers who accidentally grow their crops though.  My point is, a lot of this seems to be urban legend with no actual support.

As to the circuit court, they're based in Missouri.  Presumably they file suit in their home court. 

Offline elone

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2013, 12:14:42 AM »
One of the problems with Monsanto, besides being a near monopoly, is that through encouraging the use of Roundup ready seeds, they are encouraging farmers to continue the practice of polluting our soils with that herbicide. I live in a rural community and have talked to farmers about why they need to use Roundup when for centuries they did not. It turns out that the weed crops steal water and nutrients and also make it more difficult to harvest their crops. Weeds tend to screw up their harvesters. It is not necessarily to increase yield.

Personally, the main thing I have against GMO crops is that as a consumer, we are not told if what we are eating is a GMO crop. Most of the crops we are talking about in my area are used for animal feed (poultry), and not necessarily going for direct human consumption. As GMO seeds become more prevalent, however, direct human consumption of these crops will be unavoidable. Many countries have banned their use, of course the US, being corporate driven, has not.

Monsanto does produce a Bt GMO seed that is in sweet corn that that kills insects. Bt is a natural insecticide, but I don't want to be eating it, and I don't want it killing beneficial insects either. Fortunately, I grow enough corn to meet my needs. Others do not have that luxury. Plus, who knows what other produce is full of Bt and other insecticides.

Using Monsanto seeds also is limiting biodiversity of crops, something organic farmers and seed savers are trying to maintain.

As for those who think Roundup is harmless, you should come see my vegetable garden after the farm behind my house is sprayed with roundup and all the bees in my garden are dead as doornails, still sitting on the flowers I planted to attract pollinators.

Support truthful labeling of all of our foods.


Offline Valthazar

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Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2013, 12:59:17 AM »
I doubt genetically modified plants are any worse for our health than all the chemicals in our food like MSG, artificial flavors, aspartame, etc.

But the truthful labeling seems like a good idea.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2013, 01:44:31 AM »
I doubt genetically modified plants are any worse for our health than all the chemicals in our food like MSG, artificial flavors, aspartame, etc.

But the truthful labeling seems like a good idea.

Ever seen anyone who can't handle MSG?  It isn't pretty at times. I know that there are issues that aren't being disclosed. And I do worry a LOT about seed stock and diversity.  Right now we are WAY too reliant on corn as a staple crop in our food chain. One nasty blight and HOW much food would be directly or indirectly affected?

Offline Vekseid

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2013, 03:15:24 AM »
The issue is that farmers are voluntarily choosing to use Monsanto seed products, and then saving some of those seeds to regrow more the following year - rather than purchasing a fresh new supply from Monsanto for the following year.  If more and more farmers did this, Monsanto would no longer have a profit incentive to keep innovating seed products.

If farmers want to opt-out of using Monsanto seeds, that's perfectly fine.  But if they are choosing to use Monsanto seeds, and not willing to honor the patents on the specific, genetic-modification process, then they are basically ripping off the continuous hard work of Monsanto engineers.

The Daily Show is a fun show to watch, but Jon Stewart's take on this issue is more for entertainment.

I can think of few greater threats to humanity's future than the idea of patenting unconstrainable self-replicating mechanisms. It's an omnicidally horrible precedent.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2013, 11:57:38 AM »
I worry about a LOT of things Monsanto is doing with BioTech/Patent law.

They have impeded investigation into their products as well as actively worked to hide what they do. They have introduced legislation to prevent the labeling of foods in ways that impede their products (to their perception) such as the continued opposition to the 'GM' or 'GMO' labels and the push to ban 'BGH-free' from milk products.

They purchased the 'terminator seed' technology from one company. That is the ability to restrict the ability of a plant to seed or produce fertile seeds. Their CURRENT stance is opposed to the use of it, though that might be due to the very very big opposition on many continents to the idea.

Then there is the 90%+ market share in many many different crop fields. That alone is troubling but the trend to be heavily reliant one single plant lines within those fields makes for a dangerous lack of diversity. Monopolistic actions aside that should worry anyone that has read on famines like the Great potato famine among others.

Offline ShadowFox89

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2013, 12:45:56 PM »
The issue is that farmers are voluntarily choosing to use Monsanto seed products, and then saving some of those seeds to regrow more the following year - rather than purchasing a fresh new supply from Monsanto for the following year.  If more and more farmers did this, Monsanto would no longer have a profit incentive to keep innovating seed products.

If farmers want to opt-out of using Monsanto seeds, that's perfectly fine.  But if they are choosing to use Monsanto seeds, and not willing to honor the patents on the specific, genetic-modification process, then they are basically ripping off the continuous hard work of Monsanto engineers.

The Daily Show is a fun show to watch, but Jon Stewart's take on this issue is more for entertainment.

 They can't, really. It's like back in the old days of the Industrial Revolution. Sure, the miners can choose not to buy food at the shops that the mining companies own. But they'll have to drive a few miles to do it. Sure, the textile workers can complain about the conditions and try and get the government to help. But they'll also be fired and their house repossessed, because the textile plant happens to own their house.

 Sure, the farmers could try and stop using Monsanto's seeds. But they'll have to start over completely from scratch with their seed supplies and find a supplier who has the bulk that Monsanto does, as well as seed that is resistant to weather extremes, insects, disease, and chemicals like Monsanto's seed is.

 I mean, yes, in theory the farmers could. But it would cost them so much that they'd be struggling for a few years after, and in the current economy even a year of bad crop is very bad.

Offline mia h

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2013, 02:18:35 PM »
I can think of few greater threats to humanity's future than the idea of patenting unconstrainable self-replicating mechanisms. It's an omnicidally horrible precedent.

My memory isn't exactly at 100% at the minute but wasn't there something about the supreme court not allowing or no longer allowing patents on genes.

Offline ShadowFox89

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2013, 02:30:23 PM »
My memory isn't exactly at 100% at the minute but wasn't there something about the supreme court not allowing or no longer allowing patents on genes.

 Human genetics. Animal and floral genetics are still up for grabs.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2013, 02:35:21 PM »
There was a law on patenting plants enacted back in 1970 (the Plant Variety Protection Act) that allowed plant breeders to patent a cultivar, however it included an exemption that allowed farmers to save and replant seed on their own farms.

Offline ShadowFox89

Re: Jon Stewart takes on BioTech/Patent Law
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2013, 03:00:40 PM »
There was a law on patenting plants enacted back in 1970 (the Plant Variety Protection Act) that allowed plant breeders to patent a cultivar, however it included an exemption that allowed farmers to save and replant seed on their own farms.

 Except Monsanto has a contract that forbids that.

http://thefarmerslife.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/scan_doc0004.pdf