Monsanto protesters strive while the company files lawsuit

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March Against Monsanto is standing out in a protest against the Creve Coeur initiative, according to which pedestrians on the streets will not be allowed to use any kind of medians except from the crossroads.

The Creve Coeur City Council will vote on the Bill 5489 on Monday night. For the past weeks protesters used to stand on Olive Boulevard to distribute information to drivers passing by.

Monsanto’s headquarters are located at Olive Boulevard and North Lindbergh Boulevard.

On April 28 when the bill was read for the first time, protesters were already there. According to Police Chief Glenn Eidman they used “small children to push out in traffic to slow them down so information pamphlets could be passed out.”

Back in October more than 700 protesters came out on the streets, causing dangerous traffic conditions. “Handing out information in a median along a stretch of road where traffic travels at 40 MPH causes a hazard when one vehicle slows down,” Eidman said.

In January a massive protest took place during Monsanto’s shareholder meeting causing dozen of people getting arrested due to the unsafe activities. Susie Chasnoff, a spokeswoman for the group commented on the situation, “The police already have the authority to enforce safety on the median. Eidman doesn’t need additional authority to do that. This is a peaceful protest.” For now, the next protest is scheduled on May 24.

While March Against Monsanto opposes genetically modified foods, Monsanto itself is filing a lawsuit. On Fridaythe United States Court of Appeals upheld sanctions leveled against E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company and its subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. (collectively “DuPont”) by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Previously, the district court imposed sanctions on DuPont by striking DuPont’s contract reformation defense and counterclaims and awarding Monsanto Company and Monsanto Technology, LLC (collectively “Monsanto”) attorney fees.

Monsanto has created a genetic modification in soybean seeds, marketed under the Roundup Ready® (“RR”) brand name and known as the 40-3-2 event (the “RR trait”), which allows soybean plants to tolerate the application of glyphosate herbicide that kills weeds. Monsanto obtained US Patent RE 39,247E (the “247 Patent”), a nonexclusive license to produce and sell soybean seeds containing Monsanto’s glyphosate-tolerant traits. Later Pioneer became a subsidiary of DuPont and Monsanto with Pioneer signed a special Agreement in 2002.

However, in 2006, DuPont announced that it had developed its own glyphosate-tolerant trait, Optimum GAT® (“OGAT”). Later, due to the research, it turned out that OGAT does not provide efficient glyphosate-tolerance for commercial use. DuPont combined its OGAT with Monsanto’s RR trait and discovered that the OGAT/RR together provide increased yields.

In May 2009, Monsanto sued DuPont for breach of the License. The district court satisfied the pleadings to Monsanto in 2010, confirming that the License was “unambiguous and [did] not grant [DuPont] the right to stack non-RR glyphosate-tolerant trait technologies with the licensed” trait.

However, after the court decision Monsanto continued to compel production of documents relating to DuPont’s understanding of stacking restrictions under the License. Monsanto has later moved for sanctions, claiming to the district court that DuPont had misrepresented its subjective belief concerning stacking rights and had perpetrated a fraud on the court. After a long process the court has finally satisfied Monsanto’s pleads.

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