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OPINION
February 24, 2013
Re “ Seeds of Dissent ,” Opinion, Feb. 19, and “ Justices consider patented seeds case ,” Feb. 20 I understand a company's desire to control the use of products it has created and patented, and the importance such a right plays in its ability to remain profitable. But I still have a major problem with Monsanto's arguments in this case. Monsanto didn't create or design the seeds' ability to reproduce; it created the resultant plant's ability to resist a weedkiller. If Monsanto feels that it owns that ability for all future generations of the seeds, it should be free to charge more for the original seed and see if the market is willing to bear those additional costs, instead of being allowed to prevent farmers from using those second-generation or later seeds.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
December 1, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
We're not exactly sure why two Los Angeles councilmen are proposing a ban on growing genetically engineered crops or selling the seeds in the city. Maybe that's because they don't seem all that clear on the matter themselves. So far as anyone knows, there are no plants grown in the city whose DNA was tinkered with in a laboratory, according to spokesmen for the two council members, Paul Koretz and Mitch O'Farrell. Nor does anyone have plans to grow them. Bioengineered seeds are generally sold to large agricultural operations, the type that an urban center doesn't have.
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BUSINESS
September 12, 2012 | By Ricardo Lopez
Video streaming by ustream.tv/occupyfreedomla Nine protesters were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of trespassing after blocking access to a Monsanto seed distribution center in Oxnard, group organizers said.  Those arrested were part of a decentralized network of food activists and Occupy protesters, said Adam Eidenger, a spokesman for the Occupy Monsanto group. Their aim is to protest Monsanto's sales of genetically modified seeds, he said. They also sought to bring attention to Proposition 37, a ballot initiative set to come before California voters this fall.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 19, 2013 | By Gary Goldstein
In these IM and text-happy days, it's likely more people know what the letters OMG stand for than the meaning of GMO. But if filmmaker Jeremy Seifert has his way, that may change as a result of his lively, thought-provoking documentary "GMO OMG," which surveys the controversial, unreconciled presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in most of our non-organic foods. It's a complex issue that writer-director Seifert attacks in a largely personal, loosey-goosey way. While the movie rarely feels like the definitive, well-honed dissection this critical subject demands, his lighter approach keeps a somewhat arcane topic more easily digestible, dare say entertaining.
OPINION
February 19, 2013 | By George Kimbrell and Debbie Barker
On Tuesday, attorneys for the largest agrochemical corporation in the world, Monsanto, will present arguments before the Supreme Court asserting the company's rights to the generations of seeds that naturally reproduce from its genetically modified strains. Bowman vs. Monsanto Co. will be decided based on the court's interpretation of a complex web of seed and plant patent law, but the case also reflects something much more basic: Should anyone, or any corporation, control a product of life?
NEWS
July 18, 1985 | Associated Press
G. D. Searle & Co., a pharmaceutical company, and Monsanto Co., a chemical company, announced today that they have agreed to merge in a deal valued at $2.7 billion.
BUSINESS
May 8, 2011 | By Andrew Leckey
Question: Crop prices have risen so much. Why aren't my Monsanto Co. shares doing the same? Answer: The world's biggest seed company has been firmly focused on farmers, who are crucial to its business. Prices of agricultural commodities have risen sharply since last summer because of poor weather and strong global demand. But Monsanto, with an eye on its longer-term market share, has discounted the prices farmers pay for its patented, genetically engineered seeds. The profit potential of Monsanto's seed business, however, will depend heavily on the degree of public acceptance and environmental scrutiny of genetically engineered food as well as commodity prices.
BUSINESS
May 1, 1985
The firm won on all but one count in a $28-million lawsuit brought by former workers who alleged that they were poisoned on the job by chemicals. The federal court jury in Charleston, W.Va., ruled that, although the seven former employees suffer from long-term health problems as a result of on-the-job contact with dioxin, the company did not knowingly poison them.
BUSINESS
February 19, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - In a closely watched patent case, Supreme Court justices appeared ready to dash the hopes of an Indiana farmer who claimed the unfettered right to plant the next generation of Monsanto Co.'s genetically modified soybeans. The justices strongly suggested in oral arguments Tuesday that they would agree with Monsanto that its patent protection covers not just the first planting but also seeds that are generated later from any plantings. "Why in the world" would any company invest millions of dollars in creating a new seed if a farmer could buy one and freely reproduce it, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. asked.
NEWS
May 13, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court gave a victory to Monsanto and other makers of patented seeds Monday, ruling they can prohibit farmers from growing a second crop from their genetically engineered seeds. In a unanimous decision, the court said the patent for a specialized seed outlives the first planting. Otherwise, these seed patents would be “largely worthless,” said Justice Elena Kagan in explaining the decision. Agri-business giants like Monsanto will be relieved by the ruling.
BUSINESS
July 18, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
Monsanto Co. said Thursday it will largely drop its bid to grow some of its genetically modified crops in Europe. The world's largest seed-maker has nine pending applications with the European Commission, the executive body for the European Union. A spokesman said the company plans to withdraw eight of those applications. The requests "have been going nowhere fast for several years," said Brandon Mitchener, a spokesman for the St. Louis-based company's European entity. "There's no end in sight ... due to political obstructionism.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 26, 2013 | Rosanna Xia
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday as part of a global series of marches against seed giant Monsanto Co. and genetically modified foods. Organizers said the March Against Monsanto demonstrations were being held in some 300 cities in more than 44 countries this weekend. The event -- a social media-generated call to action against genetically modified foods and the multinational corporations that produce them -- marked the first such global, unified protest for this cause, organizers said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 25, 2013 | By Rosanna Xia, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday as part of a global series of marches against seed giant Monsanto Co. and genetically modified foods. Organizers said the “March Against Monsanto” demonstrations were being held in some 300 cities in more than 44 countries this weekend. The event -- a social media-generated call to action against genetically modified foods and the multinational corporations that produce them -- marked the first such global, unified protest for this cause, organizers said.
BUSINESS
May 14, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Monsanto Co. and other companies that patent seeds may prohibit farmers from growing a second crop from their genetically modified seeds, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously. The closely watched decision was a clear victory for agribusiness giants and their biotechnological innovations, which have increased crop yields. But it was a setback for the many disgruntled farmers who have complained about the high cost of these miracle seeds. By a 9-0 vote, the justices decided the patent for a specialized seed outlives the first planting.
NEWS
May 13, 2013 | By Jon Healey
The Supreme Court sided with Monsanto Co. on Monday,  ruling against a farmer who used beans grown from the company's patented, genetically modified soybean seeds to plant subsequent crops. It was apparently the first time the court had upheld patent protections on a self-replicating product -- in this case, a soybean that could survive being doused with Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. And it drew a flurry of warnings online about the implications for non-GMO foods and the food supply in general.
NEWS
May 13, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court gave a victory to Monsanto and other makers of patented seeds Monday, ruling they can prohibit farmers from growing a second crop from their genetically engineered seeds. In a unanimous decision, the court said the patent for a specialized seed outlives the first planting. Otherwise, these seed patents would be “largely worthless,” said Justice Elena Kagan in explaining the decision. Agri-business giants like Monsanto will be relieved by the ruling.
BUSINESS
October 26, 1985
Plans call for the St. Louis-based chemical company to strengthen some programs while withdrawing from marginal businesses and production facilities, according to Richard J. Mahoney, president and chief executive. However, the result of the restructuring will be the laying off of thousands of employees in the United States and overseas, the firm said, with up to 1,500 of the 8,800 jobs in the St. Louis area being eliminated.
BUSINESS
June 22, 2010 | By James Oliphant and P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times
The Supreme Court overturned a lower court's nationwide ban on genetically modified alfalfa seeds Monday, handing a victory to Monsanto Co. in a long-running dispute. Monday's 7-1 decision enables the U.S. Department of Agriculture to complete a study on whether the alfalfa will harm the environment before deciding on whether to approve the seeds for planting, a process that could go into next year. The high court ruled that a federal judge in San Francisco went too far when he issued an order that overturned the Agriculture Department's decision to allow some farmers to plant Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa seeds before the government had completed its full study of the environmental issues.
OPINION
February 24, 2013
Re “ Seeds of Dissent ,” Opinion, Feb. 19, and “ Justices consider patented seeds case ,” Feb. 20 I understand a company's desire to control the use of products it has created and patented, and the importance such a right plays in its ability to remain profitable. But I still have a major problem with Monsanto's arguments in this case. Monsanto didn't create or design the seeds' ability to reproduce; it created the resultant plant's ability to resist a weedkiller. If Monsanto feels that it owns that ability for all future generations of the seeds, it should be free to charge more for the original seed and see if the market is willing to bear those additional costs, instead of being allowed to prevent farmers from using those second-generation or later seeds.
NEWS
February 20, 2013 | By Jon Healey
In an Op-Ed article for The Times on Tuesday, George Kimbrell and Debbie Barker of the Center for Food Safety present a forceful argument against patents on seeds or any other "product of life. " The issue arises because the Supreme Court is considering the case of a farmer sued by Monsanto for infringement because he replanted soybean seeds that the chemical company had patented. At the oral arguments Tuesday, the justices acknowledged that they had never before considered a patent on a live, "self-replicating" invention.
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