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article imageGMO giant DuPont hires ex-cops to 'enforce' patents

article:338023:20::0
By Anne Sewell     Nov 30, 2012 in World
So far gone is the traditional act of saving your seed for the next harvest, now DuPont Co., the second-largest seed company in the world, uses former police officers to stop farmers illegally re-planting GMO seeds.
DuPont wants to use retired police officers next year to patrol farms in order to spot any potential "intellectual property theft."
In this way, the company is hoping to find farmers who purchased contracts for their genetically modified soybean seeds, but have now breached the terms of the contact by illegally using the same product for repeat harvests.
Should farmers replant these GMO seeds, which are licensed to, and patented by, DuPont, they can then be sued for invalidating their contracts, giving the seed giant yet more money for their efforts.
Charles Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, told Bloomberg, “Farmers are never going to get cheap access to these genetically engineered varieties. The biotech industry has trumped the legitimate economic interests of the farmer again by raising the ante on intellectual property.”
Following in the wake of their biggest competitor, Monsanto & Co., who are infamous for relentlessly suing small farmers caught abusing their GMO products, this latest maneuver is thought to be a form of intimidation.
DuPont has signed up with a Saskatchewan-based company, Agro Protection International, that contracts mostly retired police officers to patrol potential violations of IP law.
Agro President Dennis Birtles told Bloomberg, “Everyone always goes to the idea that we are trying to intimidate people and nothing could be further from the truth. We are trying to create deterrence.”
Apparently Agro Protection International already has about 45 employees patrolling Canadian farms, and a DuPont senior manager has confirmed that around three dozen will start searching farmers for IP violations in the US, starting next year.
Randy Schlatter of DuPont’s intellectual property program office told the media that the contract with Agro will help their customers in the end, because honoring contracts will allow the GMO giants to continue to develop new products. They currently have more than 225 soybean seed patents.
“Our challenge is to get customers to understand the fact that strong intellectual property protection is a benefit that ends up at the customer level,” Schlatter says. “If we can’t make a profit, we can’t invest and we can’t bring out new products.”
However, this news also comes shortly after it was reported that GM cotton crops fell by at least 40% in India, according to mainstream government reports. Other news has been making the headlines about GM corn, being heavily attacked by ‘mutated’ rootworms, resistant to the pesticide-producing capabilities of the GMO crops and Monsanto wishing to experiment in this regard.
article:338023:20::0
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