Monsanto Co., St. Louis, has announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit denied efforts to certify an antitrust class action suit levied against Monsanto and other companies over biotechnology seed products sold to U.S. farmers.

"Today's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals upholds the rulings made by the District Court last year," said Charles Burson, general counsel for Monsanto. "This affirmation helps bring this litigation advanced by a longtime critic of biotechnology one step closer to its end. We believe that the plaintiffs in this case do not represent American farmers' opinions or experience about biotechnology farm products."



The original lawsuit was filed in 1999. In October 2003, the U.S. District Court originally denied the plaintiffs' efforts to certify a class action against Monsanto. Previously, the Court had granted Monsanto summary judgment on all the plaintiffs' claims that Monsanto wrongly introduced biotech crops.



In December 2003, the plaintiffs chose to appeal the District Court ruling that denied the plaintiffs' efforts to certify an antitrust class action against Monsanto.



Today's ruling by the Court of Appeals upholds the earlier decision by the District Court to deny class action status to plaintiffs' antitrust claims. Further, the District Court's decision dismissing the plaintiffs' claim Monsanto wrongfully commercialized biotech crops still stands.



Source: Monsanto Co.