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Mar 11, 2010

Monsanto Draws Antitrust Scrutiny

The Wall Street Journal prepared an analysis of why the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Agriculture are holding meetings in Iowa to discuss potential anti-trust investigations in the agricultural biotechnology market.

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a division of DuPont contends that Monsanto "is trying to use gene licenses to limit competition. Monsanto has also tried in recent months to dispel fears among some farmers and seed breeders that Monsanto will make it hard for them to use generic versions of genetically modified crops after the company's patents expire."  Patents on herbicide tolerant soybeans are set to expire in 2014.  In the meantime, Monsanto has released new patented seeds that include "stacked" gene-engineered (GE) traits.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "Monsanto and Des Moines-based seed giant Pioneer Hi-Bred are locked in a bitter fight for farmer loyalty that includes dueling lawsuits in a federal courthouse.  It quotes U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack as saying, "I'm not taking sides .. What I'm really concerned about is farmers getting a fair shake."

For more see: Kilman, Scott. “Monsanto Draws Antitrust Scrutiny; Regulators Offer Competitors, Farmers and Activists a Platform to Gripe About Crop Biotech Giant.” Wall Street Journal, 11 March 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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