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  • Douglas Stansfield's picture
    Douglas Stansfield
    LICityboy, thanks for your note. Thats what I thought and I dislike the idea of this because it is extremely difficult to control the spread of seeds unlike software. The environment and nature will also spread seed and the company police forces along with the government will come to fields and demand royalties if they find crops growing in the fields with the same genetic traits. This also has the market effect of destroying the seed saving industry (individual operators). You can use the buggy whip argument here but the idea of one company "owning" a whole 20 years of multiple generation of one plant type is disturbing to me. It may be totally legal and Monsanto's actions to take its customers to court may be legal, but it just seems so wrong. So I will continue to try and avoid buying these products.
    • Joseph Najjar's picture
      Joseph Najjar
      @ Douglas Stansfield If a farmer wishes to keep his seed, he simply needs to find another source for seed other than Monsanto. By opening the bag, they are , in effect, signing a contract with Monsanto saying they will return their property after harvest. Also, Monsanto will not come knocking down your door if you have a few volunteers pop up, the year after growing their seeds. They step in and demand royalties in huge cases, where a farmer is basically stealing patented material from them. Lots of people want to refer to the canadian farmer who was sued by Monsanto. Many will tell you that cross pollination or accidental spillage led to the crops being found in his field; That is a complete lie! In reality, the farmer intentionally planted over 1,000 acres of Monsanto seed, and replanted it instead of returning it to Monsanto. In court, the farmer never claimed that the crops had made it into his field accidentally.


      Here is another source, with a PDF you can download, further exploring some of the misconceptions surrounding Biotechnology:


      I dont always agree with Monsanto's business practices, but if you want different IP laws, talk to the legislators in your area to change the regulations
  • LICityboy's picture
    Patent term is described by a certain number of years, not by a number of generations. Currently the patent term in the US is 20 years from the date of patent filing. For crops like soybean and cotton that are said to be true breeding (meaning that the offspring has the same traits as the parent), each descendant generation that results from selfing would have the GM trait and contain the same "invention" as the generation before. As in other fields, each time you USE the technology and derive the benefit from the invention, the inventor is entitled to a royalty payment. Plants inventions (like GM traits) are no different. Think of software. If you copy it and install it on a second computer, doesn't it provide the same value to the user as the original copy? Many (but not all) folks understand that if they use pirated copies of the software they are "cheating" the software company.