Soybean farmers in Brazil sued Monsanto for a royalty collection system that they say violates their planting rights. A soybean harvest in Mato Grosso, Brazil, March 27, 2012.
AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)
Farmers worldwide say Monsanto's policy of charging for every use of its genetically modified seeds violates their planting rights. But judges in these patent law cases aren't so sure.
Law and science seek proof in similar ways, but at very different speeds.
What is proof? In both law and science, it's basically a consensus of experts – but they work at very different speeds. That means juries may reach verdicts on an issue before the science is settled.
Bottles of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer in the United Kingdom, relabelled by activists to highlight the World Health Organization’s judgment that its main ingredient is a probable carcinogen.
Global Justice Now
Thousands of people are suing Monsanto, claiming that its Roundup herbicide gave them cancer. A California judge has reduced the first damage award but let the verdict against Monsanto stand.
Roundup is the most common weed killer used worldwide.
A US court recently ruled the weed killer Roundup contributed to a former gardener's cancer. Juries don't decide science. The weight of evidence shows Roundup has little association with cancer.
Activists protest against the acquisition of the U.S. agrochemical company Monsanto by the German Bayer company in Bonn, Germany, Friday, May 25, 2018.
(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Bayer, the new owner of Monsanto, will need to up its PR efforts, in the wake of last week's legal ruling on glyphosate weedkillers.
Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson reacts after hearing the verdict in his case against Monsanto at the Superior Court of California in San Francisco, Aug. 10, 2018.
Josh Edelson/Pool Photo via AP
A jury concluded on Aug. 10 that exposure to the herbicide Roundup caused Dewayne Johnson's cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages. Thousands more claims are pending.
Guilty or innocent?
Hundreds of lawsuits against Monsanto contend that its popular Roundup weed killer gave users cancer. But proving this kind of connection is challenging in both science and law.
A man walks through a greenhouse in October 2017 at a learning centre in Uganda where sustainable agriculture techniques, such as drought-resistant crops and tree planting, are taught.
(AP Photo/Adelle Kalakouti)
At present on the African continent, the politics of persuasion are especially consequential in the area of agri-food research and development.
Unlike napalm, which immediately scalded its victims, Agent Orange kills and maims slowly over time, its effects passed down through generations.
U.S. Army Operations in Vietnam R.W. Trewyn, Ph.D/Wikimedia
The use of Agent Orange in Vietnam had deep impacts, including a poisoned water supply, birth defects and cancer. Despite decades of attempted litigation, justice for spraying victims seems unlikely.
Critics fear the merger of agricultural giants Bayer and Monsanto will drive an increase in use of pesticides.
The global food system has been operating in post-truth mode for decades.
Researchers at several institutions are searching for microbial solutions for Africa’s low-performing staple crops.
Microbial-based solutions are perhaps the best-kept secret in agricultural innovation.
avemario / shutterstock
Ensuring the next 10 billion people are fed fairly will require a radical restructuring of global agri-tech.
A rush and a push and the land is ours …
Monsanto an other biotech companies got caught short in the 1990s. But since then, the GM argument has been moving in their direction.
Rotten to the core. Can Paris help create a less wasteful food system?
The food on our tables is central to the #COP21 debate and any Paris agreement must help build a system that moves us a long way from our current habits.
New EU rules on GM attempt to unblock logjam that has hung over the technology in the region for most of this century. To work, anti-GM member states and Big Biotech will need to cooperate.
Big agriculture, big data, big weather.
The recent news of Monsanto’s US$930m acquisition of data science company Climate Corporation, raises important questions about the economies developing in response to climate change. A new generation…