tagged w/ Drift
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Judge Rules In Monsanto Seed Case
"By Jim Gerritsen
EcoFarm, February 27, 2012
On February 24, Judge Naomi Buchwald handed down her ruling on a motion to dismiss in the case of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Assn et al v. Monsanto after hearing oral argument on January 31st in Federal District Court in Manhattan. Her ruling to dismiss the case brought against Monsanto on behalf of organic farmers, seed growers and agricultural organizations representing farmers and citizens was met with great disappointment by the plaintiffs.
Plaintiff lead attorney Daniel Ravicher said, "While I have great respect for Judge Buchwald, her decision to deny farmers the right to seek legal protection from one of the world's foremost patent bullies is gravely disappointing. Her belief that farmers are acting unreasonable when they stop growing certain crops to avoid being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement should their crops become contaminated maligns the intelligence and integrity of those farmers. Her failure to address the purpose of the Declaratory Judgment Act and her characterization of binding Supreme Court precedent that supports the farmers' standing as 'wholly inapposite' constitute legal error. In sum, her opinion is flawed on both the facts and the law. Thankfully, the plaintiffs have the right to appeal to the Court of Appeals, which will review the matter without deference to her findings."
Monsanto's history of aggressive investigations and lawsuits brought against farmers in America have been a source of concern for organic and non-GMO farmers since Monsanto's first lawsuit brought against a farmer in the mid-90's. Since then, 144 farmers have had lawsuits brought against them by Monsanto for alleged violations of their patented seed technology. Monsanto has brought charges against more than 700 additional farmers who have settled out-of-court rather than face Monsanto's belligerent litigious actions. Many of these farmers claim to not have had the intention to grow or save seeds that contain Monsanto's patented genes. Seed drift and pollen drift from genetically engineered crops often contaminate neighboring fields. If Monsanto's seed technology is found on a farmer's land without contract they can be found liable for patent infringement.
"Family farmers need the protection of the court," said Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen, President of lead plaintiff OSGATA. "We reject as naive and indefensible the judge's assertion that Monsanto's vague public relations 'commitment' should be 'a source of comfort' to plaintiffs. The truth is we are under threat and we do not believe Monsanto. The truth is that American farmers and the American people do not believe Monsanto. Family farmers deserve our day in court and this flawed ruling will not deter us from continuing to seek justice."
end of excerpt
I also wanted to mention that the fact that this judge and Monsanto think that transgenic contamination is not a problem because you can move your crops far enough away to keep transgenic pollution from infecting your crops is also an admittance of the substantial equivalence myth and actually was a confession that it does occur. I suppose they are truly living in denial because wind is not the only thing that carries this pollen. It is carried by animals, bees, birds and water.
It enters the entire ecosystem along with the Glyphosate (RoundUp) sprayed on these GM crops which has also been shown to be pervasive in our rivers and streams. Studies have also shown that this pollution can also be carried into the wild and also affects soil bacteria, nematods, worms and other soil organisms thus affecting soil health which in turn affects yield.
This is pervasive throughout globally so I can only presume about this decision which didn't even take a month to deliberate on is that there may have been more involved in it than the judge's own judgement, which in my opinion was deeply flawed.
Let this ruling then be a clarion call to all American farmers: boycott these seeds. They will only bring you misery. This fight is not over.
More at the linkTuesday, February 28, 2012 Judge Rules In Monsanto Seed Case Excerpt: "By... more
NOTE: When they're not having their markets destroyed by GM contamination, U.S. rice farmers are suffering serious harm from the massive applications of glyphosate onto the Roundup Ready crops around them. The damage can include young rice crops being killed, thinned or burned off, as well as significantly decreased yields, deformed kernels and problems with milling, when the rice is harvested.
Glyphosate drift to rice a problem for all of us
Mike Wagner, President, Mississippi Rice Council
Farm Press, May 12 2011
[Editor's note: the following commentary was adapted from a speech by Mike Wagner, rice farmer and president of the Mississippi Rice Council, at this year's Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association meeting.]
Airplanes and ground applicators have been used to apply amendments to rice crops in Mississippi since the mid-1950s, and the interests and success of rice producers and aerial aviators have become intricately intertwined.
In the late 1990s, technology inserted into cotton, soybeans, and corn allowed over-the-top application of glyphosate onto those crops. The technology immediately revolutionized the production systems for those crops.
The U.S. rice industry never adapted the glyphosate-resistant technology for fear that its product - consumed with virtually no processing - would be forsaken by consumers worldwide. And so, non-transgenic rice is planted in a sea of genetically modified crops that are tolerant to glyphosate.
For years, this seemed to pose no real problem or threat. In the early to mid part of the last decade, however, reports of rice damaged by glyphosate drift began to surface with increasing frequency. Rice specialists noticed that rice that had no obvious damage through the growing season would yield and mill poorly and would exhibit the classic trait associated with late glyphosate drift — the kernel would be shaped like a parrot beak instead of its normally elongated, symmetrical shape.
In 2006, immediately after most crops were planted in the Delta, a wet and windy period set in. Airplanes set out to spray cotton, corn, and soybean fields plagued with weeds. Not many thought much of it at first.
By mid-May, however, reports of dead rice and rice burned off to the ground began to surface. Soon the reports were widespread. It was estimated that 30,000 to 50,000 acres of rice were damaged or destroyed that year by glyphosate.
So much glyphosate seemed to go out in such a short time over such a large area that it was often difficult to identify the offenders. Many farmers were never compensated for damages.
The extensive damage to what was already an economically challenging crop did not set well with Mississippi's rice industry. Frustrations were on two levels: (1) penalties often seemed insignificant and violators (especially repeat violators) were given what our industry perceived to be a wrist-slapping, and (2) the level of liability insurance coverage was in many cases not enough to cover one claim, much less multiple claims.
Mississippi's rice farmers petitioned the state capitol and the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce for change and got it. The responsibility for the dispensing of penalties for aerial applicators found in violation of rules was given to the Bureau of Plant Industry. Aerial applicators and ground applicators now work with the same penalty structure, commonly called the Penalty Matrix. This provides a uniform system of penalty assessment among all applicators, aerial and ground, and penalties are now meted out in uniform fashion.
In addition, after careful consideration the MAAA acted to increase their minimal liability insurance requirements from $100,000 to $300,000, with a $500,000 aggregate.
One can divide the window of timing and the types of damage that glyphosate drift onto rice can have into two periods.
The first is from emergence to flooding. Rice hit at this time could be thinned, burned off to the ground only to re-emerge in various maturity and health stages, or killed. In some cases, with increased expense, it can be managed so that the crop grows out of the damage and goes on to make a normal or somewhat reduced yield.
If the young crop is killed, it can be replanted with rice (which research indicates will generally suffer a yield loss), or if pre-emerge herbicides applied to the rice allow, the land can be planted to an alternate crop.
Either effort will increase production costs and generally produce a crop with decreased yield potential.
The second distinct period that glyphosate damage occurs - and by far the most detrimental - is from a short time before internode elongation to the time when the crop begins to dry down. Mississippi's rice crop generally begins its internode elongation period around June 1, and it is at this time that much yield potential is set.
Damage inflicted by derelict glyphosate during this period is often invisible and not noticed until harvest. Damage is characterized by significantly decreased yields and milling and the rice often exhibits the first signal that it has been hit with drift — kernels shaped like a parrot's beak.
Damage occurring at this time does not allow for an alternate crop to be replanted. Consequently, the farmer has two nooses around his neck: (1) he is stuck with a crop that will generate lower revenues, and (2) he has already incurred nearly all expenses that are associated with that crop. With anticipated 2011 direct expenses between $450 and $600 per acre and indirect expenses ranging from $200 to $300 per acre — total expenses range from $650 to $900 per acre — one can see that any losses can be staggering. This is a losing proposition for our rice industry, and one that continues to occur. Our alarm is warranted.
cont.NOTE: When they're not having their markets destroyed by GM contamination, U.S.... more
“Drift” is an intensely thoughtful short film directed by the Australian filmmaker Matthew Chang. The film follows the discussion of two friends in a restaurant as they watch a homeless man outside on the street and reflect on their own experiences and choices in life. The friends have widely divergent views about the plight of the homeless man, but the film gives each character’s perspective a fair hearing. One can’t help but to feel quite surprised by the unexpected twist at the end of the film, which evolves into a keenly observed morality tale that can evoke considerable reflection upon the impact of past events in our own lives.
This piece includes a number of color photographs, as well as the very engaging short film.
http://disembedded.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/drift-a-richly-thoughtful-exploration-of-a-homeless-mans-plight/“Drift” is an intensely thoughtful short film directed by the Australian... more
Great camera work and visuals in this video about the first training session for drift racing in Poland after the Winter.Great camera work and visuals in this video about the first training session for drift... more
Ride along with the guys at the SFl Drift event, held at County line Motorsports, as they "dance" through the track in what some describe as "Chaos". Tim Murphy from iwanttodrift.com tells us what it takes to drift and how important it is to have these drifting events in your local community.
Be sure to rate our videos and leave your comments....Ride along with the guys at the SFl Drift event, held at County line Motorsports, as... more
The Drift King shows how its to be done.