WICHITA, Kan. — A Kansas farmer has sued seed giant Monsanto over last week’s discovery of genetically engineered experimental wheat in an 80-acre field in Oregon, claiming the company’s gross negligence hurt U.S. growers by driving down wheat prices and causing some international markets to suspend certain imports.
The federal civil lawsuit, filed Monday by Ernest Barnes, who farms 1,000 acres near Elkhart in southwest Kansas, seeks unspecified damages to be determined at trial.
U.S. Agriculture Department officials said last Wednesday that the modified wheat was the same strain as one designed by Monsanto to be herbicide-resistance that was tested in Oregon and several other states through 2005 but never approved. The USDA has said the Oregon wheat is safe to eat and there is no evidence that modified wheat entered the marketplace.
It’s believed to be the first lawsuit stemming from the discovery. Similar lawsuits are in the works, Barnes’ attorney said, and the cases will likely be consolidated for the purposes of discovery, a process where evidence is investigated and shared among parties.
No genetically engineered wheat has been approved for U.S. farming. Many countries will not accept imports of genetically modified foods, and the United States exports about half of its wheat crop. Since the announcement, Japan — one of the largest export markets for U.S. wheat growers — suspended some imports. South Korea said it would increase its inspections of U.S. wheat imports.
Barnes referred all calls to his attorneys. One of them, Warren Burns, said that the scope of the damage is potentially in the hundreds of millions of dollars. He said the lawsuit seeks to make sure their client is compensated for his losses.
“These types of suits serve the purpose of helping police the agricultural system we have in place and make sure farmers are protected,” Burns said in a phone interview Tuesday from Dallas.
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com
(NaturalNews) The next wave of farmer backlash against Monsanto has just been unleashed by Ernest Barnes, a wheat farmer in Morton County, Kansas. He filed suit this week in the U.S. District Court in Wichita, Kansas, alleging that Monsanto’s genetic pollution has financially damaged himself and other farmers.
Barnes’ case appears to be well supported by the facts: Last week the USDA announced the shock discovery that genetically engineered wheat strains from Monsanto’s open-field experiments had escaped and spread into commercial wheat farms. Almost immediately, Japan and South Korea cancelled wheat purchase contracts from the United States, and more cancellations are expected to follow. The more countries reject U.S. wheat due to GMO contamination (genetic pollution), the lower wheat prices will plunge and the more economic damage will be felt by U.S. farmers.
Monsanto now a confirmed genetic polluter
GMO wheat (i.e. “GE wheat”) has never been commercially grown in the United States… at least not on purpose. Experimental fields were approved by the USDA and planted across 16 U.S. states. Until now, it was not known that these GE wheat experiments escaped their designated field plots and began to spread as a form of self-replicating genetic pollution.
For the record, Natural News openly warned about this possibility in a 2012 article called, “Stop Out-of-Control Science.” There, I wrote:
Humanity has reached a tipping point of developing technology so profound that it can destroy the human race; yet this rise of “science” has in no way been matched by a rise in consciousness or ethics. Today, science operates with total disregard for the future of life on Earth, and it scoffs at the idea of balancing scientific “progress” with caution, ethics or reasonable safeguards. Unbridled experiments like GMOs have unleashed self-replicating genetic pollution that now threatens the integrity of food crops around the world, potentially threatening the global food supply.
Those words, it turns out, were prophetic. We are now faced with precisely this situation in the U.S. agricultural sector, and farmers are starting to feel the economic losses. GMOs are just one of several areas where so-called “science” actually threatens humanity with total destruction.
See my infographic of all 12 dangerous sectors of science with this infographic:
Monsanto engaged in genetic contamination
As Yahoo News reports:
The petition filed by Barnes claims Monsanto knew there was a high risk the genetically modified wheat it was testing could contaminate other varieties of wheat, and the company failed to follow proper procedures to keep the wheat contained.
Monsanto tested the wheat in many states, including Kansas, the top U.S. wheat-producing state, but did not disclose to farmers in those states that it was testing the controversial wheat there, the petition states.
Monsanto to sue the farmers?
Monsanto claims it will mount a “vigorous defense” against the lawsuit, expressing that it takes no responsibility whatsoever for all the genetic pollution it spews across America’s farm lands. If Monsanto’s genetically modified, toxin-producing crops just happen to infect your commercial crops, then that’s your fault!
In fact, I’m surprised Monsanto hasn’t announced plans to sue all these farmers for “stealing” its “intellectual property.” That’s what the company has done before, of course: sued farmers whose fields were contaminated by Monsanto’s genetic pollutants.
Is this not the height of corporate evil? When British Petroleum spills billions of gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, it at least pretends to be sorry about it. But when Monsanto spews its genetic pollution all over the planet, it blames the farmers! It would be like if BP drove an oil tanker right into your front yard, dumped a thousand gallons of oil on your lawn, then sued you for stealing their oil.
That’s the Monsanto model. And it’s yet another example of the total runaway criminality of this evil corporation that frankly should have its corporate charter yanked. This is one business that deserves to be permanently put out of business and never allowed to operate again. When corporations become such arrogant, destructive and threatening monsters that stomp on our farmers and spew their genetic jizz all across the planet like a bunch of sicko ag perverts, something has gone terribly wrong and needs to be stopped.
The recent March Against Monsanto was only the beginning. I even foresee a day when millions of citizens from around the world engage in a far more aggressive march on the Monsanto headquarters and literally tear the place apart brick by brick until this corporate demon is permanently excised from our planet.
We are winning the war against Monsanto
I also predict — but do not condone this violence — that if Monsanto continues to engage in its crimes against farmers, nature and humanity, we are going to start seeing well-planned “acts of justice” against Monsanto executives, employees and scientists. I literally had a bizarre, disturbing dream the other night where a band of activists had kidnapped a Monsanto executive, tied him to a chair, and forced him to admit to all the crimes Monsanto has committed while being filmed on camera. The videos were then released on the internet. I realize this sounds a lot like the plot of a major motion picture, but I believe this could become reality if Monsanto continues on its current path.
Again, for the record, I do not condone the kidnapping of Monsanto executives. Kidnappings and executions are no way to resolve problems in a civilized society. If such an act actually takes place, it would actually hurt the anti-GMO movement and allow the government to paint all GMO protesters as “potential terrorists.” So if anyone out there is actually thinking of doing this, please redirect your energy and focus into non-violent protests and other similar actions that are already making tremendous progress. As I said recently on Natural News, I believe we have reached a tipping point of success against Monsanto. Let’s continue to pressure Monsanto in a grassroots, non-violent way, okay?
After all, we are winning this war against Monsanto and GMOs. They are in full retreat and completely surrounded… by the truth.