US federal court dismisses lawsuit by organic farmers against Monsanto

The US district court for the southern district of New York has officially dismissed a lawsuit brought by The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) and dozens of other plaintiff growers and organizations against Monsanto Company.

OSGATA and plaintiffs in the case said they did not want to grow crops containing Monsanto's biotechnology traits but feared that the traits could enter their fields inadvertently through cross-pollination. The court, however, rejected the lawsuit finding that OSGATA and plaintiffs had engaged in a ''transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists,"  Monsanto said in release.

The court also held that there was no "case or controversy" on the matter as Monsanto had not taken any action or even suggested to take any action against any of the plaintiffs.

Monsanto said the court, in its ruling, also cited Monsanto's long-standing policy of ''not exercising its patent rights where trace amounts of our patented seeds or traits are present in a farmer's fields as a result of inadvertent means."

"This decision is a win for all farmers as it underscores that agricultural practices such as agri-biotechnology, organic and conventional systems do and will continue to effectively coexist in the agricultural marketplace," said David F Snively, Monsanto's executive vice president, secretary and general counsel.

"Importantly, this ruling tore down a historic myth, which is commonly perpetuated against our business by these plaintiffs and other parties through the internet, noting that not only were such claims unsubstantiated but, more importantly, they were unjustified," Monsanto said.