(May 14, 2018) India is fighting a Monsanto patent scam that gave Monsanto a near monopoly on India’s cotton industry. India has finally taken a stand to deny seed patents that India now says Monsanto never had a right to own in the first place. Last month, India rejected patents for Monsanto’s genetically modified cotton seeds Bollgard and Bollgard II.
Monsanto uses its patents in India, the US, and other countries to dictate what seed distributors can sell. Monsanto controls agriculture by designating which genetically modified seeds farmers can use.
Related: Monsanto Lawsuit
India’s Delhi High Court ruled last month that Monsanto’s Indian licensee, Nuziveedu Seeds, will no longer be bound by Monsanto’s patents. The ruling means Nuziveedu Seeds can now sell seeds freely to farmers without being forced to distribute what Monsanto’s army of lawyers say they can sell.
Monsanto’s steady takeover of India’s cotton industry had made things increasingly difficult for Indian farmers. Like any agriculture monopoly anywhere, Monsanto’s near monopoly of the country’s cotton industry has driven prices sky high and made farmers’ lives miserable. Thousands have committed suicide.
From Monsanto Suicide seeds: “The region in India with the highest level of farmers suicides is the Vidharbha region in Maharashtra — 4000 suicides per year, 10 per day. This is also the region with the highest acreage of Monsanto’s GMO Bt cotton. Monsanto’s GM seeds create a suicide economy by transforming seed from a renewable resource to a non-renewable input which must be bought every year at high prices.”
Monsanto loses Patent it never had
A Nuziveedu Seeds lawyer – Diva Kapur – said Monsanto no longer has a patent on the seeds and “they have never had it.” India’s Patents Act of 1970 states that plant varieties cannot be patented, no matter what has been done to the genetics of the seed.
Mr. Kapur said that Monsanto has “tried to hoodwink the seed companies and farmers for years claiming they have a patent and making huge amounts of money from that.” “Tried” seems to be the wrong word, as the Monsanto scam to hoodwink India has worked for 20 years.
New Freedom for Farmers
Moving out from under the jackboots of Monsanto’s patent scam will help seed distributors and farmers more readily adapt to their own situation and climate, says EcoWatch. It will help them make better decisions over what is best to grow in their region. They will no longer be forced into the vicious cycle of buying Monsanto’s latest seed technology through strict patent enforcement. The de-patenting could also free India from more of Monsanto’s infamous genetic experimentation. Monsanto’s death grip on Indian agriculture has caused a growing crisis of increasing pest resistance.
India Fights Monsanto Patent Scam
The Delhi High Court ruling means the Nuziveedu seed company is no longer required to pay Monsanto exorbitant royalties. Hallelujah to India farmers!
The ruling could also end a Monsanto joint venture with Mahyco Seeds Ltd., which could dismantle a seed license empire that controls nearly fifty domestic companies in India.
As Monsanto’s big profits dry up from the de-patenting, organic farmers and others who eschew poisonous chemical farming hope and pray Monsanto will leave India altogether.
EcoWatch notes: “If Monsanto was all for ‘feeding the world’ then they would stay in India and help the farmers find out what works best for their climate and community needs. Since Monsanto only gets involved in agriculture to control it, they will likely depart India as their patent control and perpetual profit dissipates. They may even be as arrogant as to fight the ruling, to regain control over India’s farmers.”
Since it is impossible to overestimate the arrogance, greed, and vindictiveness of Monsanto, we are sadly betting on Monsanto’s fighting India’s beaten-down farmers in India’s Supreme Court. If Monsanto can use its deep pockets to control the US court system and the US Congress – which it does with nauseating ease – what’s to stop it from manipulating the Indian courts?
Monsanto brings the pain to India Farming
When Monsanto first enticed India into trying its GM technology in 1995, many farmers quickly reaped higher yields of specific crops, most notably Monsanto’s genetically modified cotton. EcoWatch says the GM cotton seeds were successful at first, due to a pest-resistant trait called Bt – Bacillus thuringiensis.
But then the usual pests began to resist the genetically altered traits of Monsanto’s allegedly “superior” technology. Cotton yields fell, but farmers were still forced to pay Monsanto royalties and eat the high cost of failed GM seeds. Thousands of farmers were forced into a vicious cycle of debt and dependence. Yields dropped to record lows. Debt suffocated their livelihood. Many farmers committed suicide.
The Monsanto-induced havoc forced the Indian government to regulate prices in 2006, and finally impose strict price controls on cotton seeds in 2016. (If India had done nothing, how many farmers did the country have left to sacrifice to Monsanto’s voracious appetite for unregulated profits?)
And now Monsanto is negotiating a merger with Bayer, a war criminal of a company that made Zyklon B gas used in WWII concentration camps, among other killer chemicals. That jibes with Monsanto’s own wretched history of helping produce Agent Orange, a toxic foliant that kills green plants and the people who depend on them to eat. Generations of Vietnamese children have suffered birth defects as a result. These companies are birds of a feather. They make things that kill, for astonishing profits, in the guise of helping humanity.
Some things never change, but we can change them, if we try. If we don’t, they may well change us, or kill us, like Indian farmers. There is a most definitely an agenda, and most of us are at the wrong end of it. Or we’re like the suicided Indian farmers, being sold a bill of goods promoted as helpful, when in reality it is anything but.