Family farmers from around North America filled Federal Court Judge Naomi Buchwald’s courtroom in Manhattan on Tuesday, January 31 to hear the oral arguments regarding the pre-trial motions to dismiss OSGATA et al v. Monsanto.
Outside the courthouse in Foley Square, hundreds turned out for the Citizens’ Assembly of support for family farmers,
an action organized by severalgroups including Occupy Food Justice. After the conclusion of the courtroom oral argument, plaintiff farmers and their legal team from the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) provided details and comments on the courtroom proceedings, to supporters at the Citizens’ Assembly.
OSGATA President and Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen was in the courtroom and witnessed the oral argument. Gerritsen says, “Our lawyer did a good job explaining the current injustice farmers face. We have a right to be secure on our farms and to be free from Monsanto’s GMO trespass. If we become contaminated by Monsanto, not only is the value of our organic seed crop extinguished but we could also be sued by Monsanto for patent infringement because their contamination results in our ‘possession’ of their GMO technology. We have farmers who have stopped growing organic corn, organic canola and organic soybeans because they can’t risk being sued by Monsanto. It’s not fair and it’s not right. Family farmers need justice and we deserve the protection of the court.”