Anonymous tipsters often prompt Monsanto farm investigations

Critics of Monsanto – and they are legion – demonize the company for seizing control of food production technology and undermining the tradition of seed-saving in agriculture. Monsanto’s agents – called the “seed police” by some farmers – arrive on a farmer’s doorstep when they get a tip about cheating or when their figures show that a farmer hasn’t bought enough seed to account for all of the crop he is harvesting. That’s how the lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court involving Monsanto patent rights began. Vernon Hugh Bowman says the Monsanto agents who arrive at his southwest Indiana farm seven years ago were polite and inquisitive. But Bowman was insistent he was doing nothing wrong.

Supreme court to hear Monsanto patent case

On Tuesday, Vernon Hugh Bowman will be a long way from the small Indiana farm where he was born 75 years ago and still farms 300 acres. He will be in the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the reach of Monsanto Co.’s patent to protect its Roundup Ready seeds.