North Carolina farmers may be aware of a new lawsuit in which Monsanto is being sued by a Kansas farmer. The Kansas farmer has reportedly found Monsanto’s genetically engineered wheat on their farm. The farmer is claiming gross negligence against the corporation. The modified wheat located on the Kansas farmer’s plot of land is designed to be resistant to herbicide. The wheat is considered safe to eat by the USDA, but the USDA does not believe that the wheat was actually sold.
Genetically engineered wheat hasn’t been approved in the United States for sale, which means that contamination in the Kansas farmer’s field may affect his ability to sell his crops. This is because much of the wheat grown in the United States is actually exported to other parts of the world, and much of the world still does not approve of genetically engineered wheat products. Some imports have been suspended since the announcement that crops may have been contaminated with genetically engineered wheat.
Legal representation for the farmer stated that there may potentially be hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damages due to the contamination. The lawsuit is intended both as a method to make sure that the farmer is compensated for his losses and as a way to police the agricultural system, of which Monsanto is a large part.
This case is the first of its kind and may set the precedent for farmers that locate genetically modified crops in their plots of land. A business law attorney will be able to help farmers caught in these situations pursue adequate compensation against these large corporations. Competent legal help may be necessary due to the fact that these corporations usually have extensive legal teams of their own and due to the fact that these are very new types of cases.
Source: Washington Post Business, “Kansas farmer sues Monsanto over the discovery of genetically engineered wheat in Oregon field”, June 04, 2013