Friday, December 18, 2009

Monsanto's Roundup Ready 1 Patent to expire in 2014

After the Roundup Ready 1 soybean patent expires in 2014, Monsanto will allow farmers to use it as a generic--instead of producing the heavily anticipated, more expensive, Roundup 2. I'm very curious what went on behind close doors with this decision. Perhaps it has something to do with the antitrust litigation Monsanto is facing. Perhaps not.

Hopefully this will end the litigation threats and seed-saving drama of small farmers whose crops have been contaminated by Roundup simply because these genetically altered seeds are in the air and blow around.

But it certainly is getting harder for seed companies to avoid using the Roundup Ready bacterial gene, which makes the plants impervious to the widely used herbicide glyphosate, which Monsanto sells as Roundup.

That allows farmers to spray their fields to kill weeds without harming the crops. More than 90 percent of the soybeans grown in the United States contain it. So do about two-thirds of the nation’s corn and cotton crops, though those are protected by different patents that expire later than the soybean patent. full article

Delicious. I need to look into whether organic products can be treated with Monsanto and still maintain certified organic status. Will get back to you on that one.