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.
May 8, 2011 |
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.
February 19, 2013 |
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.
July 18, 1985 |
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.
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.
June 22, 2010 |
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.