Death by Crosspollination: the Uncontrollable Natural Occurrence that Could Kill Organic Farming and the Legal Solutions to Save An Industry
Belmont Law Review, Vol. 7, Issue 2, pp. 408-439
32 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2020
Date Written: 2020
Overall, this note’s objective is to advance legally sound approaches that protect the dignity of the farmer, preserve the integrity of their crops, and hold multinational agribusinesses accountable for crosspollination infringing upon private lands. Part I briefly examines the history of agriculture from the discovery of domestication of plants to today, where humans are now able to manipulate genome structures in order to create crops that are resistant to chemical products and insects. In addition to the evolution of agriculture itself, Part I examines the accompanying evolution of law surrounding agriculture with emphasis placed on the evolution of laws related to the patenting of plants and GMOs. The goal of Part I is to provide a foundation to understand how far humans have come in growing food and how that has affected the farmer. Part II explores the problems that existing GMO laws have created for organic-crop farmers and the farming community as a whole, while highlighting the need to protect the rights and integrity of the minority organic growing community. Part III further illustrates these problems with case examples that demonstrate the practical implications of our GMO laws. Part IV offers proposed legislative changes aimed at alleviating the problems that organic farmers now face. Suggested legal changes include: (1) Federal legislation modeled after California and Maine’s agriculture codes, which create a requirement of intent for any patent infringement suit against organic farmers; and (2) State legislative action to codify the relationship between Monsanto and its growers as an agency relationship. Finally, Part V explains how the policies suggested in Part IV are legally and constitutionally sound and how they will help alleviate the problems for organic farmers, as explained in Parts II and III.
Keywords: Agricultural Law, Crosspollination, Organic Farming, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
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