Question regarding commercial advertising

Tim Eck
Sat, 23 Jun 2018 17:38:28 PDT
This (in part) is what Monsanto had to say on the subject:

"Since 1997, we have only filed suit against farmers 147 times in the United States. This may sound like a lot, but when you consider that we sell seed to more than 325,000 American farmers a year, it’s really a small number. Of these, we’ve proceeded through trial with only nine farmers. All nine cases were found in Monsanto’s favor."

A very small number of farmers involved in patent infringement cases with Monsanto have sought publicity around their cases, and have characterized the company’s actions in a negative light. In some other situations, outside parties have portrayed particular cases negatively. We take exception to any misleading allegation of wrong-doing. Our employees and contractors respect our customers and their property."

Apparently, the case you mention could only be one of these nine cases that went to court so it shouldn't be hard to find.  The anti-Monsanto propaganda was much more prevalent on the web.

Tim Eck

“Time is nature’s way of preventing everything from happening at once.”

> -----Original Message-----
> From: pbs [] On Behalf Of
> Jo&Greg
> Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:47 PM
> To: 'Pacific Bulb Society'
> Subject: Re: [pbs] Question regarding commercial advertising
> Tim, with due respect, that was not the case.
> Monsanto's original claim was that of willful intent to steal, but when it was
> obvious it would not go forward because the defendant proved in pre-trial he
> did not know his seed had been infected, and the infection of his seed was
> undesirable ... he was an organic grain farmer. So the Monsanto lawyers
> narrowed the legal argument to usage, not willful intent to steal or profit, a
> de facto crime whether or not intended, and that was how the company won
> the case. And I read the judge's statement. More importantly, I read his
> comments, which the federal judge also specifically asked to be published in
> Canadian media ... to wit ... that he (the judge) felt the issue was a
> miscarriage of justice, that he was constrained to find against the farmer,
> who was now bankrupt largely because of the ruining of his grain, only
> because his power as a judge was limited to a ruling that fell ONLY within the
> legal wording in the complaint. He said the Monsanto lawyers were very
> careful to word their complaint just so, and so they won. The judge said in
> words of one syllable that the farmer was right, and further that Monsanto
> had used its power to destroy a farmer and send a message to all who
> disagreed. He said that if he were able in some legal way, he would have not
> only found against Monsanto, but forced them to pay all the legal costs, pay
> back the farmer for lost harvest, and levied fines against the company as
> large a fine as Canadian jurisprudence could allow.
> So, whatever side of the GMO fence one lives one, I agree, Tom ... be careful
> of only reading only what you already agree with.
> Jo-Ann Canning
> Vancouver Island
> -----Original Message-----
> From: pbs <> On Behalf Of Tim Eck
> Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:00 PM
> To: 'Pacific Bulb Society' <>
> Subject: Re: [pbs] Question regarding commercial advertising
> It's worth mentioning that "the horrible Monsanto cases" were decided based
> on the willful intent and action of a farmer to steal the RoundUp Ready gene
> from a neighbor's pollen source and breed his own RoundUp Ready seed
> without compensating Monsanto.  It's so easy to buy into villainizing
> propaganda when you only get your information from "like-minded people".
> Tim Eck
> “Time is nature’s way of preventing everything from happening at once.”
> Anon.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: pbs [] On Behalf
> > Of Jo&Greg
> > Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2018 12:43 PM
> > To: 'Pacific Bulb Society'
> > Subject: Re: [pbs] Question regarding commercial advertising
> >
> > Perhaps a note or two regarding patented plants may help. My comments
> > come from my experience with publishing, and copyright info in both
> > USA and Canada ... copyright is slightly different yet using the same
> > underlying principles as a patent.
> > "Resale" and "propagation" and "commercial" all refer to for-profit
> business.
> > Non-profit organizations can offer books, plants, seed, etc., for sale
> > without crossing copyright -- and as far as I've found out -- patent
> > regulations. Plant patents are also legally suspect. You cannot patent
> > a recipe or technique and the horrible Monsanto cases against the
> > grain farmers aside, some feel the change in the plant is more like a
> > recipe shift than something new or unique (the DNA is not
> > fundamentally changed), and natural self-sowing or seed drift from natural
> sources are outside the purview of an intent to retail a product.
> > That said, plants can at present be patented.
> >
> > So, I'd go ahead and have that plant sale and seed swap. And remember,
> > though we are not a group of veggies farmers, when it comes to Big Hort:
> > "Control my food, control my politics, control distribution, control my
> politics."
> > Just my old-hippie-somewhat-anarchistic opinion.
> > Jo Canning
> > Vancouver Island, Canada
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: pbs <> On Behalf Of Jan
> > Jeddeloh
> > Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 4:10 PM
> > To: Pacific Bulb Society <>
> > Subject: Re: [pbs] Question regarding commercial advertising
> >
> > While we’re griping about Big Horticulture I’d like to add my gripe
> > about patented plants.  I’ve been stung too often by patented pretty
> > faces and have learned that a patent does not necessarily reflect the
> > value or grow-ability of the plant, although it seems like it ought
> > to.  Too often big nurseries patent every tiny variation and rush the
> > plant to market.  Sometimes it appears they apply for a patent just to
> > lock up the market for a year or two and then stop producing the plant
> > once the word gets out that it’s not a good doer.  You go to the
> > nursery, are smitten with the pretty face, bring home your new plant
> > whereupon it promptly dies.  I’ve had this experience several times.
> > And don’t get me started on the million heucheras or coneflowers out
> > there. They are sold as perennials but most have an annual life in
> > your normal, less than perfect home garden.  You know, the home garden
> that does not have the mythical well drained, evenly moist soil.
> >
> > Patented plant are also becoming a problem for plant society plant
> > sales.  I organize our NARGS chapter participation in the Hortlandia
> > sale and we have to watch that we don’t offer patented plants.  As
> > more and more plants are patented it will become harder to find plants
> > we can propagate.  Yes growing from seed it great but many of our
> > members want to donate divisions and cutting grown plants.  Plant tags
> > get lost and it would be very easy to inadvertently offer a patented plant for
> sale.
> >
> > I realize plant breeders want to get some kind of return from their
> > investment of time and money but it shouldn’t be too much to ask that
> > the plants be good doers and truly unique. They should also be
> > adequately trailed.  One or two years is just not enough.  I have
> > found a couple of patented plants that are worth growing.  Geranium
> > “Roxanne” blooms all summer, does not spit seed all over and is tough.
> > Salvia “Amistad”, while tender, puts on a great summer show and is
> > much beloved by bees and hummingbirds.  It also seems rather silly to
> > patent plants that will self propagated.  If it’s going to form a big
> > clump you can easily hack apart gardeners are going to share it
> > around.  This takes no real skill.  If you want to patent a plant it ought to
> require a bit of skill to propagate or you will lose the battle of controlling its
> propagation.
> >
> > To bring this back around to bulbs does anyone know of any patented
> > bulbs?  I know Terra Nova at one point had applied for a patent on a
> > Cyclamen coum selection with a Christmas tree marking on the leaves.
> > I wonder if this was denied because it wouldn’t be hard to find look a
> > likes in many groups of coum seedlings. It’s not in their current catalog.
> >
> > Jan Jeddeloh
> > > On Jun 20, 2018, at 9:59 AM, Jane McGary <>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > I've been purchasing plants and bulbs for about 35 years now. I'm
> > > fortunate
> > to live in Clackamas County, Oregon, which has more nurseries than any
> > other US county, so "local" can mean anything from a daphne at the
> farmers'
> > market to a viburnum from the big Monrovia fields on the other side of
> > the river. I buy some unusual cultivars and rooted cuttings for
> > cutflowers by mail order, mostly from specialty nurseries. Most years
> > I obtain some commercial bulbs for planting out in front of the house
> > -- daffodils to distract the bulb fly from the good ones in back, anemones
> and crocuses for the bulb lawn, etc.
> > Almost all of my bulb "collection" has been grown from seed.
> > >
> > > I agree with Robin that there's false advertising by large
> > > commercial
> > nurseries, but small ones do so as well, especially in exaggerating
> > cold- hardiness. They may not mean to, but if you're growing plants on
> > an island you don't have the same conditions as most of your customers
> > who live 150 km or more inland. Conversely, nurseries in colder areas
> > who keep all their stock in greenhouses may produce plants that are
> > hard to acclimate to outdoor conditions anywhere. Growing your own
> > from seed is likely to result in losses, but the survivors will be easier to keep,
> and much cheaper.
> > >
> > > Two years ago I had the experience Ellen mentions of buying a shrub
> > > that
> > had been bulked up by keeping two cuttings in one pot, but I got it at
> > the farmers' market and the grower told me about it. It's a hybrid
> > daphne; I was able to disentangle the root systems, potted them
> > separately for a couple of months before planting out, and now have
> > two very fine shrubs. This spring I went on a spending spree on
> > Dianthus cultivars. One nursery sent me excellent plants, but
> > another's plants had been in their pots far too long (I repotted them
> > and waited until they recovered to plant them out). I almost never put
> > a purchased plant into the garden the day after I get it. For one thing, you
> have to watch them for disease.
> > >
> > > As for bulbs that fail, it helps to understand the growth cycles,
> > > natural
> > habitats, and structure of the particular species and genera. Bulbs
> > with strong tunics, such as tulips, can stand dry storage much better
> > than those without tunics, such as most Fritillaria. A species native
> > to rocky desert will survive storage better than one native to river
> > meadows. A species native to the alpine zone may not flourish without
> > a long winter dormancy (hence the plants "hardy in Denver" that can't
> > be grown in lowland gardens). It is also instructive to learn how
> > commercial bulbs are grown and processed in the Netherlands, where
> > they can be grown in sand, heavily fertilized, protected from
> > predators, lifted and kept in warehouses controlled for temperature
> > and humidity, and exported in advantageous condition. After a month at
> > Home Depot and transfer to a home garden, they'll likely perform for a
> > year but that may be the limit of their adaptability. Moreover,
> > controlled conditions can suppress the activity of viruses, which may
> > resurface in the home garden; that's why all my tulips are grown from seed,
> and I buy lily bulbs only from The Lily Garden, which I trust to provide clean
> stock.
> > >
> > > So read, read, read, and be prepared to lose some plants anyway. You
> > > can
> > identify an experienced gardener by their possession of a big bag of
> > plantless labels.
> > >
> > > Jane McGary
> > >
> > > Portland, Oregon, USA
> > >
> > >
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