WASHINGTON, DC (May 15, 2013) – The National Grange announced its support of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Bowman v. Monsanto case, regarding the sale and usage of self-replicating products such as Monsanto’s genetically modified soybeans.
The case began when Vernon Hugh Bowman, an Indiana soybean farmer, used replicated soybean seeds to create eight successive crops. Monsanto sued Bowman in a lower court, insisting that his subsequent plantings violated their patent and that the self-replicating properties of their genetically modified soybeans did not excuse him from paying for new seeds every year. Both the lower courts and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Monsanto.
“The National Grange, along with everyone else in the Washington ag community, has been eagerly awaiting the Court’s decision on this case, as it has the potential to be a significant game changer not only for agriculture but for any product that contains a self-replicating element,” National Grange Legislative Director Grace Boatright said. “If the Supreme Court didn’t rule in favor of Monsanto’s argument there would be little incentive to produce and promote inventions if a company or individual lost all profit-making potential after the first sale of a self-replicating product.”
National Grange President Ed Luttrell said the move also assures an abundant food supply into the future.
“The Supreme Court’s decision is not only good for agriculture and ag business, but it reaffirms the fact that genetically modified products are not only safe but also necessary if we intend to produce enough food to meet future needs,” Luttrell said. “The Grange is a supporter of GMO products and a supporter of the individual farmer’s right to use this technology when available. Until credible scientific evidence suggests that a real danger exists, there is no reason not to utilize GMO technology.”
Monsanto is the world’s largest producer of genetically engineered seeds, with over 650 seed patents. Together with Dupont and Syngenta, Monsanto controls over half the world’s seed production.
Established in 1867, the National Grange, a nonpartisan, nonprofit fraternal organization, is the oldest agricultural and rural community service organization. With more than 2,100 local chapters, the Grange has evolved into the nation’s leading rural advocacy organization and a major benefactor to local communities. There are more than 160,000 members across the United States.