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February 28th, 2012

Food Eaters 1, Uncompetitive Organics Industry 0

Though judges in the infamous Judicial Hellhole of Madison County, Illinois have allowed supporters of the troubled organic farming industry to perpetuate a meritless class action against the makers of a safe and widely used weed killer for eight long years and counting (see hereherehere and here),  a no-nonsense federal judge in New York was not as patient.

According to the New York Times, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of the Federal District Court in Manhattan yesterday dismissed a similarly meritless class action “brought last year by a consortium of [organic] farmers against the agricultural and chemical company Monsanto.”  The organic farmers’ lawsuit sought to invalidate the company’s agricultural patents, claiming that Monsanto might ”sue them if [its] patented strains of soybeans, corn or alfalfa, which make up a majority of American crops, appeared in their fields.”

In dismissing their case, Judge Buchwald said the organic farmers and their trade group had suffered no harm and were engaged in “a transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists.”

A controversy where none exists.  Just like the case in Madison County.  Why, if one were to ingest too many organic soybeans, one might deliriously imagine a conspiracy of trial lawyers, self-proclaimed consumer advocates and failing organic farmers trying desperately (and transparently) to raise the costs of more conventional farming by any means necessary — including wave after wave of meritless lawsuits, all designed to make relatively high-priced organic food products more competitive in the marketplace. 

Those of us who occasionally eat food and like it when our food doesn’t cost too much all owe Judge Buchwald a debt of gratitude.  Let’s hope Judge William Mudge in Madison County eventually follows her lead.

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