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article imageGMO objections ongoing as Monsanto reports strong 1Q profits

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By Leigh Goessl     Jan 10, 2013 in Business
As an appeals case against Monsanto commences, the company has reported earnings and revenues for the first quarter have soared. These results have boosted forecasts for 2013.
On Tuesday, corporate giant Monsanto reported strong results for its first fiscal quarter this year with profits of profit of $339 million; this is up from $126 million.
The company attributes the strong results to the "continued expansion" of its corn business in Latin American countries, its "early momentum" in U.S. seed and trait sales and performance of the company's agricultural productivity division.
This news led the company's stock to rise. Media reports say earlier this week Monsanto's shares were "surging" during pre-market trading after the company reported its healthy earnings and revenues. Reportedly, the company's increase "exceeded" previous estimates figured by analysts, reported Business Insider.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Monsanto has "traditionally reported a quiet first quarter", with the growth in the South America, the company now has stronger sales year round.
"We've achieved a successful start to the year, with contributions from multiple areas that speaks to the strength of our global business and provides confidence in our ability to realize a third consecutive year of significant growth," said Hugh Grant, chairman and chief executive officer for Monsanto, in a company press release. "The momentum in our business is also seen in our record research and development progress."
The company attributes a part of its success to its GMO corn and soybean seeds designed to keep off insects and tolerate herbicides. The genetically modified seeds Monsanto sells are a controversial type of product that has seen opposition across the globe, most recently in Poland. Last month, Kenya banned importation of GMO foods citing additional study, and Mexico had recently delayed a decision until next year where planting GMO corn is concerned.
This news comes in the same week a case against Monsanto and its GMO products are being heard in Washington, D.C. In Feb. 2012, a New York district court judge dismissed the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto case.
Digital Journal reported earlier in the week family farmers were getting set to travel to Washington to battle Monsanto in appeals court. Historically, Monsanto has targeted farmers with legal action for patent infringement of its seeds. The plaintiff, which represents hundreds of thousands of farmers, says the corporate giant commits "trespass" on their properties and that they want absolutely nothing to do with Monsanto's seeds that blow over from neighboring farms that use GMO seeds.
“The district court erred when it denied the organic seed plaintiffs the right to seek protection from Monsanto's patents,” said attorney Dan Ravicher of the not-for-profit Public Patent Foundation representing the seed group and farmers, according to AG Professional. “At the oral argument on January 10, we will explain to the court of appeals the district court's errors and why the case should be reinstated.”
The argument is slated to start at 10 a.m. this morning and be heard in the 10th US Court of Appeals.
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