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Monsanto Recants Complaint Accusing Farmers of Violating Patent

Within the same week that Monsanto announced it was being investigated by the Securities Exchange Commision, and on the heels of its personnel records being hacked, the biotech giant has recanted a recent complaint against two Pennsylvania farmers.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Harold V. Wiser and Steve Wiser were accused by Monsanto of patent violations because they saved genetically-modified seed from 2009-2010, and planted it this year. According to Monsanto’s iron-clad contract, farmers are not allowed to save seed for replanting, a tradition long-held by the farming community.

“The filing was submitted by a third-party vendor and mistakenly included a claim for patent infringement and named Monsanto as the plaintiff. The filing will be amended today,” the company’s statement said.

Monsanto has a reputation for suing farmers over seed violations. Even its own website boasts 145 lawsuits across the country since 1997. Unfortunately, some of the seed violations happen unwittingly, when seed drift causes cross-pollination on neighboring farms. Monsanto, however, does not seem to care about this distinction, and has been known to file lawsuits against these farmers as well.

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