Ag groups react to Supreme Court decision

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Multiple organizations have issued statements this week since the Supreme Court ruled in a lawsuit, Bowman v. Monsanto, which was centered on the protection of intellectual property. The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that an Indiana farmer violated agribusiness company Monsanto Co's patent for a type of soybean.

"The Court's ruling today ensures that longstanding principles of patent law apply to breakthrough 21st century technologies that are central to meeting the growing demands of our planet and its people," said David Snively, executive vice president, secretary, and general counsel of Monsanto. "The ruling also provides assurance to all inventors throughout the public and private sectors that they can and should continue to invest in innovation that feeds people, improves lives, creates jobs, and allows America to keep its competitive edge."

Group that issued statement favorable to Monsanto included the American Soybean Association, the American Seed Trade Association, CropLife America, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a coalition of leading universities (including the University of California, Duke University, Emory University, the University of Illinois, Iowa State, the University of Kansas, Kansas State, the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and other university organizations such as the Association of American Universities, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities), the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the Washington Legal Foundation, and the Business Software Alliance (whose members include Apple and Microsoft).

“By ruling unanimously in favor of maintaining the integrity of intellectual property laws, the Supreme Court has ensured that America’s soybean farmers, of which Mr. Bowman is one, can continue to rely on the technological innovation that has pushed American agriculture to the forefront of the effort to feed a global population projected to pass 9 billion by 2050,” said American Soybean Association (ASA) President and Canton, Miss.-based soybean farmer Danny Murphy.

“Revolutions in seed science have enabled soybean farmers to produce more food, feed, fiber and fuel with significantly reduced strain on resources. Without the protection of intellectual property that the court reaffirmed today, the companies on whom my fellow soybean farmers and I rely would have no real incentive to make the investments necessary to develop new soybean varieties that yield more, resist disease, weeds, and pests, are drought tolerant, or have improved nutritional profiles.

“Intellectual property protection sparked a sea change in investments by public and private seed breeders into improved seeds for soybeans and other crops. The Supreme Court’s decision today recognized that if you take away the incentive for those entities to strive for a better seed, they won’t make those investments and farmers eventually won’t have the benefits of improved seeds,” Murphy concluded.

Read other statements online from:

Biotechnology Industry Organization's (BIO) statement.  

CropLife America's statement

National Grange's statement.


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