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Thread: Monsanto Losing Grounds

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    France Administrator Hervé's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monsanto Losing Grounds

    Monsanto's stranglehold on seeds in India: Legal battle over GM cotton rules biotech plant varieties and seeds cannot be patented

    Lorraine Chow EcoWatch
    Wed, 11 Apr 2018 22:13 UTC


    Cotton Harvest

    Could Monsanto's six-decade presence in India be coming to a halt?

    On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court ruled that the biotech giant cannot claim patents for Bollgard and Bollgard II, its genetically modified cotton seeds, in the country.

    Citing India's Patents Act of 1970, the court said that plant varieties and seeds cannot be patented, thereby rejecting Monsanto's attempt to block its Indian licensee, Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd., from selling the seeds.

    "What it means is effectively Monsanto has no patent on seeds in India and they have never had it. They have tried to hoodwink the seed companies and farmers for years claiming they have a patent and making huge amounts of money from that," Diya Kapur, a lawyer for Nuziveedu Seeds, told Bloomberg.

    As Dilsher Dhillon wrote in Business Insider India, Wednesday's verdict could prompt Monsanto to pull out of the country:
    With the latest ruling, Monsanto's claims against Nuziveedu for unpaid royalties have been waived because its patents are invalid. It will now have to settle for the rates decided by the government.

    This is a significant blow for Monsanto, the world's largest seed producer, as it currently licenses its seeds to nearly 50 domestic companies through its local joint venture with Mahyco Seeds Ltd. It could, in all probability, lead to the company's complete exit from India.
    Monsanto had already threatened to stop business in India after the government imposed price controls on cotton seeds in 2016.
    Monsanto first introduced its GM-technology in India in 1995. Today, more than 90 percent of the country's cotton crop is genetically modified. These crops have been inserted with a pest-resistant toxin called Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt.

    Business Insider's Dhillon noted that the ruling has significant implications for Monsanto and farmers alike:
    While yields have increased significantly, Monsanto has long been accused of overcharging farmers for its seeds, especially given the fact that their ability to resist pests diminishes with time. The high cost of seeds and royalties left thousands of farmers in a vicious cycle of debt, which inevitably led to many suicides when crops failed. As a result, the government was forced to start regulating Bt cotton prices in 2006.
    Hence, the Delhi High Court's ruling can be seen as a moral reckoning on Monsanto. But it also has wider implications. Yes, it will reduce prices for farmers, given that seed licensing companies pass on the royalty costs to them, but it could prove to be the death knell for innovation in the agriculture sector-something that will hurt farmers in the long run.

    However, the company's presence in India may ultimately be decided by its pending mega-merger with Bayer AG.

    "Bayer is generally seen as a company with a more collaborative approach towards governments. If Bayer sits down at the negotiating table with the Indian government and works out a solution, then it's possible that the next generation of Bt cotton technology may still see the light of day in India at some point in the future, although it may take years," Abhijit R. Akella, vice president at IIFL Institutional Equities, told Mint.

    A Monsanto India spokesman said the company was "very disappointed" with the court's ruling.

    "Today's order will have wide-ranging, negative implications for biotech-based innovation across many sectors within India, and is inconsistent with other international markets where agricultural innovation has flourished," the spokesman said.

    Monsanto said it might challenge the decision in India's Supreme Court.
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  3. Link to Post #62
    United States Moderator Michelle Marie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monsanto Losing Grounds

    "Today's order will have wide-ranging, negative implications for bio-tech based innovation across many sectors within India...

    Good. India called out Bill Gates on his *hit, and his shares of Monsanto stock will suffer here, too. Negative implications for Monsanto; better health for India.

    "...and is inconsistent with other international markets where agricultural innovation(corruption) has flourished," says this Monsanto the Monster spokesman.

    Change happens. Now Monsanto-Bayer can expect the tides to turn, and other countries will be consistent with these types of rulings.

    We voted to ban GMO farming right here in our county. Monsanto tried to come into our courts to overrule the voice of the people. They lost.

    Bayer is not going to pull the wool over our already opened eyes, Monsanto. Get used to it.

    Changing the names of their drugs and companies is a long-held strategy of their deceptive practices.
    (Nice try...doesn't fly!)

    Yeah!!! Good for India. Let's follow her example.

    I love victory stories like this. Thanks, Herve!

    MM
    Last edited by Michelle Marie; 15th April 2018 at 18:21.
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