Brazil is known as the world’s number one soy exporter and is Monsanto’s biggest market following the United States. It is expected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to break its records next year with 91 million tons of soybean production. However, United States is assumed to take over Brazil as the world’s top soybean exporter.
Monsanto wants commodity trading companies to make sure farmers pay up. Royalty fees, that is. There's just one problem, the trading firms don't want to get involved.
Monsanto, infamous for suing farmers around the globe, is demanding extra assurance for royalty payments on new South American seed technology – herbicide-resistant Intacta RR 2 Pro. It's being described as an impasse between Monsanto and large Brazilian soybean buyers that's gumming up the works for continuing seed sales. Monsanto appears to be using the urgency of growing seasons for leverage.
Brazil's Vegetable Oils Association represents global soybean traders like ADM, Cargill, Bunge and Louis Dreyfus. Above says their trades members have been wrapped up in negotiations with Monsanto for half a year now. Carlo Lovatelli, says, “We can serve as monitors in this process, as Monsanto requests , but we cannot assume legal responsibility for the collection of royalties.”
What’s uncertain situation is to discharge one of the biggest dealer of biotech crop creation. And proceed to do the assigned dirty work fee collection to resolve a time-sensitive situation. Trading firms will wonder how will they be considered and how will it benefit them. They would see themselves captives in such situation. Extreme power indeed. While silent warnings of legal chaos and probable export loss emerge, Monsanto guarantees that the best solution will be found for Brazilian farmers.
Above's president used this analogy with Reuters to describe the situation:
It would be like selling a complete car and then having the tire manufacturer come and complain about something to do with the rubber. Producers want certainty, in this time of seed buying, that they are not going to have problems when they deliver their soy six months from now.
This year, the Supreme Court stood by Monsanto's seed patents and their aggressive “pursuit of suits” when they threw out a long-running case on behalf of a large group of plaintiffs trying to ward off infringement legal suits from Monsanto for potentially having their fields contaminated with Monsanto's GM seeds. One company's patent infringement is another farmer's ruined crop – but Monsanto reaps the benefits.
It probably didn't hurt that a former Monsanto lawyer, Clarence Thomas, sits on the Supreme Court. Monsanto reps are apparently being invited to speak to classrooms. Big biotech is also moving to usurp the EU government to get back into play. If that weren't enough, the same big biotech players are behind studies to “help the bees.”
Government, Trading firms and justice… despite disagreements and controversy, everything will just be settled.
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