Target: Vernon “Hugh” Bowman
Goal: Thank a 75-year old soybean farmer from Indiana for continuing to appeal a case in which the GMO giant Monsanto attempts to sue him for patent infringement.
In 1981, the Supreme Court (controversially) ruled that living organisms could be patented. Since then, the massive GMO company Monsanto has considered not only its first-generation seeds as part of its patent, but also its second-generation and third-generation seeds. With its tremendous money and resources, Monsanto works as an aggressive monopoly which stands to drive local farmers out of business.
Now, Monsanto is suing 75-year old soybean farmer Vernon Bowman of Indiana for infringing on patent rights. Bowman has appealed this case all the way to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is now hearing the case of Bowman v. Monsanto, and its decision could have drastic effects for Monsanto. The Court might even review and revise the previous 1981 ruling on the matter of life forms as patented property.
Bowman had this to say: “Monsanto should not be able, just because they’ve got millions and millions of dollars to spend on legal fees, to try to terrify farmers into making them obey their agreements by massive force and threats.” Indeed, critics of Monsanto have long argued that the company maintains a monopoly on food resources by doing precisely this. Generally, in the nation’s history, food products such as those modified and patented by Monsanto have been understood to be commodities which are too important to human sustenance for any one company to monopolize. The current patent precedent set by the 1981 Supreme Court ruling creates an environment which is hostile to agriculture and especially to local farmers. Sign this petition to thank Mr. Bowman for his courageous stance against big industry.
Dear Mr. Bowman,
I am writing to thank you for the stance you have taken against Monsanto’s attempt to sue you, and for appealing the case all the way to the Supreme Court. Because of your case, the Supreme Court may review and revise its previous opinion that life forms can be subject to patents. Over the years, Monsanto has been aided in its monopoly status by government entities, and it has been met with no serious investigations or challenges.
Your case has the potential to change this. In not backing down despite the pressure you have received, you have set a precedent and proved yourself a formidable ally of the common man, the common worker, and local agriculture. You are doing the right thing and standing by your convictions. Down the road, many other farmers may owe you their gratitude as well. I wish you good luck as the Supreme Court continues to hear your case.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Viriditas via Wikimedia Commons