Mr. Farmer meets the Neighborhood Crop Cop in search of DuPont's Seed-Savers

Ag Law - Iowa LawyerFarmers tempted to save seed should read this story. Maybe you need a seed safe to keep the crop cops at bay and away or post no-trespassing signs around your farm. The seed police are on the lookout and spying on your crops. Here read the blurb from this story by Jack Kaskey.

DuPont Sends in Former Cops to Enforce Seed Patents: Commodities

By Jack Kaskey - Nov 28, 2012 3:14 PM CT

DuPont Co. (DD), the world’s second-biggest seed company, is sending dozens of former police officers across North America to prevent a practice generations of farmers once took for granted.

The provider of the best-selling genetically modified soybean seed is looking for evidence of farmers illegally saving them from harvests for replanting next season, which is not allowed under sales contracts. The Wilmington, Delaware-based company is inspecting Canadian fields and will begin in the U.S. next year, said Randy Schlatter, a DuPont senior manager.

Okay, so now it’s good-cop bad-cop for DuPont and Monsanto. Can’t you just see the flashing light atop the cab of a combine screeching to a halt behind your farm tractor while pulling a planter?

Crop Cop: “Hold on Mr. Soybean Farmer, you’re under arrest for suspicion of possession of soybean seeds with the intent to sell! Lean on the fender and spread em! You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. What’s in your pockets? Huh, more seeds I see. Where is Mrs. Farmer we’re taking you both down to the station for questioning.”

DuPont is protecting its sales of Roundup Ready soybeans, so called because they tolerate being sprayed by Monsanto Co. (MON)’s Roundup herbicide. For years enforcement was done by Monsanto, which created Roundup Ready and dominates the $13.3 billion biotech seed industry, though it’s moving on to a new line of seeds now that patents are expiring. That leaves DuPont to play the bad guy, enforcing alternative patents so cheaper “illegal beans” don’t get planted.

“Farmers are never going to get cheap access to these genetically engineered varieties,” said Charles Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. “The biotech industry has trumped the legitimate economic interests of the farmer again by raising the ante on intellectual property.”

By the way, weren’t you farmers the ones who voted for tort reforms? Yeah, it was you. How do you like it when corporations own the Congress and the courts?

Steve Lombardi
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