Monsanto Wades Through More Weeds with the Latest Charges from Brazilian Farmers

Image via Flickr by Orin Hargraves

According to Bloomberg, “Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed company, is offering Brazilian farmers a 16 percent discount on its newest genetically modified soybeans if they drop claims that patents on older beans expired years ago. Monsanto’s insect-fighting Intacta soy went on sale today in Brazil for 115 reais ($51.23) per hectare, the St. Louis-based company said in a statement. Farmers who agree to release Monsanto from patent claims will pay 96.50 reais for the next four years, it said.”

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Monsanto’s aim to resolve an ongoing dispute over seed royalties may encounter a few weeds in the fields of its persistence before the onslaught of angry farmers put down their pitchforks. The disagreement, which involves standard royalties Monsanto charged Brazilian farmers over seed patents, is unlikely to meet a captive audience based on the recent news regarding the seed manufacturer’s inventory.

In fact, patent woes may be the least of the agro company’s worries. The latest news out of Brazil suggests farmers now have yet another tool in their sowing of a growing case against the controversial seed supplier. One of Monsanto’s main sellers, pesticide resistant corn seeds, now faces scrutiny over its alleged defective properties.

Reuters reports, “Genetically modified corn seeds are no longer protecting Brazilian farmers from voracious tropical bugs, increasing costs as producers turn to pesticides, a farm group said on Monday.”

Purportedly, the formerly pesticide-resistant seed strain is no longer standing up to the tropical insects that plague Brazilian fields. The corn was originally marketed to protect from two major Brazilian bugs: the leafworm and grassworm.

While the seeds in question are produced by more than one company, in addition to Monsanto, the case does kick up additional dirt in the midst of Monsanto’s patent proposal.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)—such as the seeds in question—are increasingly becoming a standard for big-brand, non-organic seed suppliers, as well as a common source for agricultural produce in many countries across the globe. [/show_to]

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