Surely you’ve all been following the case of Monsanto vs. farmers that’s been winding its way through the court system for some time now, right? Of course you have. For benefit of those of you who haven’t: Monsanto employs an army of lawyers to sue the pants off of farmers whose crops they suspect may have come from Monsanto’s patented pesticide-resistant seeds. This includes a hypothetical organic farmer who might have had a single Monsanto seed somehow make its way into his or her seed supply. In Monsanto’s eyes, and in the eyes of the lawyers they employ, the use of that single seed, accidental or not, is grounds for forcing the organic farmer to buy all their seeds from Monsanto until the end of time. Or something. And so far the courts have agreed with the company.
That said, the Daily Show dispatched Aasif Mandvi to investigate.My favorite part: the biotech patent lawyer who explains that “sometimes farmers act in a manner that is not in the best interests of the biotech seed companies.” GOOD TO KNOW!
My second favorite part: Mandvi asks a farmer critical of Monsanto’s aggressive legal tactics, “Do you know how hard it is to develop seeds? It’s not like they grow on trees.” When the farmer responds by saying that what he does is important, that his efforts feed people all over the world, Mandvi counters: “Big deal. Any hipster can grow food. They can grow tomatoes on a Williamsburg rooftop. Doesn’t take a lot of skill.”
Watch below and you’ll suddenly feel overcome with the urge to punch a patent lawyer in the face.