E-mail this article to
yourself or a friend.
Enter address:


North Dakota ag chief criticizes Monsanto over Nelson lawsuit

(June 19, 2001 --CropChoice news) -- North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture Roger Johnson, in a June 11 letter to the editor of the Grand Forks Herald, criticized Monsanto over its lawsuit against the Nelson farm. The biotech behemoth alleges that the Nelsons infringed the patent on its Roundup Ready soybeans, genetically engineered to resist the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate).

Johnson questioned Monsanto's motives, given that its representatives missed the North Dakota State Seed Arbitration Board hearing -- it found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the Nelsons -- and a company letter to the same newspaper stating that it "would prefer to resolve disputes of this sort without going to court..."

Why then, wondered Johnson, would Monsanto decide against arbitration?

This, he wrote, "raises strong suspicion that the company wants this lawsuit very much. It is unfortunate that Monsanto chose not to present its case at a legislatively created forum in North Dakota, instead opting for a potentially lengthy and expensive resolution in federal court. It would have demonstrated that the company wants to deal with its customers in a forthright manner."