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Show of Support for Farmers Gathering in Washington, DC

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Maine farmer and OSGATA President Jim Gerritsen
Photo courtesy:  OSGATA

People from around the country are gathering in a show of support for small farmers and seed growers who want to preserve American agriculture. They’re planning a peaceful citizens’ assembly in Washington, DC on Thursday, January 10.

Iowa-based, family farm inspired group Food Democracy Now is organizing the supportive gathering in Lafayette Square.  This, on the day of the latest oral arguments, this time in the Federal Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, in the case of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al versus Monsanto.

The landmark case seeks to protect organic farmers from unwanted contamination and legal threats by Monsanto’s patented, transgenic or genetically modified seeds.  Monsanto maintains that its seeds are not a threat and has already had the case dismissed by a federal judge in New York.  The Public Patent Foundation has provided ongoing legal support for the plaintiffs who are relentless in appeals to have their case heard.  Maine family farmer Jim Gerritsen is leading OSGATA, which has been the lead plaintiff in this case.

“The District Court erred when it denied the organic seed plaintiffs the right to seek protection from Monsanto’s patents,” said attorney Dan Ravicher of the not-for-profit Public Patent Foundation.  “At the orgal argument on January 10, we will explain to the Court of Appeals the District Court’s errors and why the case should be reinstated.”

Food Democracy Now founder Dave Murphy implored, “It’s time to end Monsanto’s campaign of fear against America’s farmers and stand up for farmers’ right to grow our food without legal threats and intimidation.”
Read more about the case here. Plaintiffs include seed growers, dairy farmers, and several cooperatives of farmers and food-related groups from both the US and Canada.

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