Filmmaker Mathieu Asselin recently interviewed OSGATA President Jim Gerritsen at his organic Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater, Maine. The brief video interview [5:50] splices excellent footage of organic seed potato planting with Gerritsen’s commentary on the landmark lawsuit, OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto.
Commercial introduction of genetically engineered (GE) crops, commonly referred to as GMOs, in 1996 was followed by what Gerritsen terms a campaign of fear and intimidation concerning patent infringement in rural America and character assassination in academic research.
Filmmaker Asselin summarizes, “Monsanto has launched intense persecution against hundreds of farmers and seed dealers in the US and Canada alone, blaming patent infringement of their GMO seeds in what seems to be their drive for a complete control of crops.”
Gerritsen says, “Monsanto, in essence, has nothing to offer to progressive farmers that want to see a strong democracy and grow good food and good seed for their communities.”
The OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto suit was filed in 2011 on behalf of 83 plaintiffs- representing over 300,000 citizens and 4,500 organic and non-GE farmers- to gain Court protection for those who may have become inadvertently contaminated by Monsanto’s patented GE seed and find themselves accused of patent infringement. The suit also challenges Monsanto’s patents on GE seed.
While a recent decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that the plaintiffs are not entitled to bring a lawsuit to district court, this decision was accompanied with binding assurance that Monsanto would not take legal action against growers whose crops might inadvertently contain traces of Monsanto biotech genes. For background on the case, read the latest press release.
The film ends with simple yet powerful advice: “As consumers, our every day choices are the best weapons we have.”
Watch the full video here.