Monsanto is always hiding behind something, starving children
(while selling their parents crops that fail all at once),
the Great God Efficiency, or now, medical research.
Will Clarence Thomas recuse himself this time on this
Supreme Court seed patent,
Bowman v Monsanto?
Will Monsanto manufacture enough Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD)
to win anyway, or will the other SCOTUS judges rule wisely this time?
Monsanto says that a victory for Mr. Bowman would allow farmers to
essentially save seeds from one year's crop to plant the next year,
eviscerating patent protection. In Mr. Bowman's part of Indiana, it
says, a single acre of soybeans can produce enough seeds to plant 26
acres the next year.
Such a ruling would “devastate innovation in
biotechnology,” the company wrote in its brief.
“Investors are unlikely to make such investments if they
cannot prevent purchasers of living organisms containing their
invention from using them to produce unlimited copies.”...
The decision might also apply to live vaccines, cell lines and DNA
used for research or medical treatment, and some types of
Yeah, yeah, it could.
But it would be quite easy for SCOTUS to say this ruling is about seeds.
Many organizations have filed briefs in support of Monsanto's
position — universities worried about incentives for research,
makers of laboratory instruments and some big farmer groups like the
American Soybean Association, which say seed patents have spurred
crop improvements. The Justice Department is also supporting
And the American Soybean Association represents big growers
who plant Monsanto seeds.
Too bad they don't realize they'd make more profits if they
didn't have to pay for those seeds every year even when
Monsanto jacks up the price
43% in 2009), plus pay for
the expensive pesticides that go on them,
and the expensive huge tractor equipment to farm at the scale
Another group that should know better weighs in:
Not only did 260 people sign up, but
all the sessions were well-attended, and
everybody seemed to learn something new, from hoop houses to solar power, from hands-on
workshops to all-hands plenary sessions.
Of course the food was excellent.
You can get a hint from this picture of Janisse Ray opening the conference;
the food in the foreground is on the snack tables (ah, the honeycomb!).
Then there were the meals, potluck by and for a conference-full of foodies.
In 2011 about 50 people came to the first one in Tifton.
In 2012, about 150 people went to Reidsville.
In 2013, about 260 people signed up, also for Reidsville, Tattnall County,
to learn what it takes
to grow local sustainable food here below the gnat line
in this longleaf pine land of tea-colored rivers, acid soil,
and rich gardening traditions.
SoGa Growing Local 2014 will be held in Valdosta, GA. Gretchen
Quarterman will be the lead organizer. We'll be keeping you posted
on the date so you can put it on your calendars now. (We may do a
mini version in Tattnall in 2014.)
More later on what happened at this year's conference,
and more as it develops on next year's conference.
So far, many local farmers, civic and business organizations,
and local governmental bodies have offered to help, and Gretchen is forming an organizational committee.