Brazilian farmers declare war on Monsanto
2.War against Monsanto
NOTE: Item 2 is one of the sources for item 1.
1.Brazilian farmers declare war on Monsanto
David Gutierrez, staff writer
Natural News, July 21 2010
Farmers from two separate Brazilian associations are preparing to file suit against biotechnology giant Monsanto, in a fight over the royalty fees the company demands for its genetically modified (GM) Roundup Ready soy.
Roundup Ready crops are engineered for resistance to the Monsanto herbicide Roundup (glyphosate), allowing farmers to apply the chemical liberally without damaging the cash crop. This GM soy variety now occupies half the cultivated soy area in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, and GM crops occupy half of all agricultural fields in the northern part of the state.
The Sinop Rural Union of northern Mato Grosso stated recently that after failing to achieve any positive resolutions through meetings with Monsanto, it is preparing to take the company to court. The union objects to the company's practice of carrying out two separate royalties collections for its patented GM seeds. In part, they object simply to the high prices Monsanto demands upon purchase of its seeds.
"In January they charged R$0.45 (US$0.25) per kilo of seed, which is equivalent to 30 percent of the price of each sack," said the union's president, Antonio Galvan.
More fundamentally, however, the union objects to Monsanto's practice of carrying out a second royalties collection at the time of harvest. The company tests all seeds arriving at warehouses to determine whether they are GM or not, then charges royalties to all farmers who bring in GM seeds and have not paid already. Farmers object that this practice does not account for possible contamination at the warehouse, and penalizes farmers whose seeds have been genetically contaminated through cross-pollination with Monsanto's product.
"Cross pollination may take place if there's a field of GM soya next to a non-GM one at flowering time," Galvan said. "Contamination can also take place if the machines are not well cleaned at harvest time, and some GM beans remain. In this way, they will be considered GM when they are tested."
A second farmers group, the Association of Soya and Corn Producers of Matto Grosso, is also suing Monsanto over excessive royalties, and objects that the company pressures farmers to buy only GM seeds.
2.War against Monsanto
Marcondes Maciel and Tania Rauber
Diario de Cuiaba [Brazil], 29 January 2010
”¢ In Cuiaba, Aprosoja is preparing a court action against Monsanto, and in Sinop, steps are being taken to follow suit
[English translation courtesy Cert ID Brazil and GM-free Ireland]
Growers in [the Brazilian State of] Mato Grosso have declared war against Monsanto, the multinational corporate owner of the GMO soya technology known as RR (Roundup Ready). After exhausting all attempts to engage the company in dialogue, the growers are now considering legal action. In Cuiaba, Aprosoja (the Association of Soya and Corn Producers Association of the State of Mato Grosso) is preparing a lawsuit. In Sinop (500km North of Cuiaba) the growers are looking to sue the company as well.
Aprosoya wants to determine if the [patent] royalty fee paid by the soya growers is actualy due. "We want to know what sort of patent is generating this type of fee, because depending on the type, the company does not have the right to charge us anything at all. We also need to know the patent's validity period," explains the President of Aprosoja, Mr. Glauber Silveira.
In Mato Grosso, growers increased the cultivated area of GMOs from 2.6 million hectares (2008/09 crop) to approximately 3 million hectares in this year's crop. The expansion of the area will increase Monsanto's profit from R$39 million (â‚¬15.2m) to R$45 million (â‚¬15.6m), an increase of 15.38%. According to calculations made by the producers, the fee Monanto charged for the use of its patent amounts to R$15.00 (â‚¬5.85) per hectare.
Aprosoja intends to issue a notification demanding that Monsanto provide proper justification regarding the royalty fees. "We have been informed that Monsanto is inducing the seed producers of Mato Grosso to provide only GMO seeds", denounces Mr. Silveira. In Mato Grosso the GMO plantation now occupies half of the entire cultivated area of soya, comprising about 6 million hectares.
SINOP - Following several meetings without any positive results, the Sinop Rural Union is also planning to sue Monsanto. Approximately 50% of the crop fields in the Northern Region of Mato Grosso are currently cultivated with GMO varieties. These differ from the conventional because of their resistance to herbicides containing glyphosate, used in desiccation before and after planting to eliminate all kinds of weeds.
This kind of resistance enables the growers to apply the herbicide on the soya only, thus reducing their production costs and the number of herbicide applications. But the sectors' questions concern the royalty fees imposed by Monsanto for their use of the seed.
The president of the Union, Mr. AntÃ´nio Galvan, explained that two collections are made: The first one being when the seed is bought (by bank order). "In January they charged R$0.45 per kilo of seed, which is equivalent to 30% of the price of each sack.
The main questioning lies on the second collection which is made when the product is leaving the fields. When it arrives at the warehouses the grain is tested and identified as GMO or non-GMO. The problem occurs when, in many cases, conventional oleaginous seeds are contaminated and the growers end up having to pay royalties without having acquired any GMO seeds in the first place.
This contamination occurs in the fields by means of pollination or at the time of planting, as well as at the time of stocking the harvest. "Cross pollination may take place if there's a field of GMO soya next to a Non-GMO one at flowering time. Contamination can also take place if the machines are not well cleaned at harvest time, and some GMO beans remain. In this way, they will be considered GMO when they are tested".