Friday, February 18, 2011

GMOs, Monsanto and Clarence Thomas

I love how Stephen Colbert can be so funny while eviscerating someone.

Over the last couple of weeks we have witnessed President Obama's complete capitulation to Monsanto by allowing the Department of Agriculture to deregulate genetically modified Alfalfa and to defy court orders to partially deregulated genetically modified sugar beets.  The reason I am mentioning all of this in the context of the 5 years silent Justice Thomas is because he was put on the court with the help of Monsanto, where he worked before he was appointed.  He also wrote the majority ruling in 2001 allowing Monsanto to own seeds as intellectual property:

Newly developed plant breeds are patentable under the general utility patent laws of the United States.

This case benefited all companies which profit from genetically modified crops, of which Monsanto is one of the largest.

This decision allowed Monsanto to sue innocent farmers whose crops have been  infected
­by downwind blow-by or bird droppings of the patented "product" which because of this law is now a patent infringeme­nt. 

Justice Thomas, former Monsanto employee, should have recused himself from this 2001 decision just as he should in any decision where Monsanto is involved.  He doesn't see it this way, that would require him to be concerned with justice, objectivity and fairness, words he apparently he never learned at Yale.

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