Farmer Troy Roush has appeared in films and been quoted in several articles concerning his dealings with Monsanto relative to a legal case centered on patent infringement. Roush has alleged that Monsanto trespassed on his property illegally. He has suggested that GMOs are not healthy. He has also stated that patented plants have “torn apart rural communities”.
Unfortunately, Monsanto cannot speak on the case involving Troy Roush. Monsanto and the Roushes concluded their litigation in 2002 with a confidential settlement agreement. Both parties agreed as part of the settlement that they would not disclose the terms of the settlement or discuss the litigation. The parties mutually agreed to a set of four exclusive talking points that each side could use to reply to inquiries about the litigation:
Memorandum of Talking Points
- “Monsanto Company and Ronald Roush, Troy Roush, Todd Roush, Tony Roush and TDR Farms, Inc, have been in a lawsuit regarding the Roundup Ready Trait. The lawsuit has been settled without admission by any party regarding any claims asserted during the litigation. The terms of the settlement and its negotiation are confidential.”
- A letter regarding this litigation has been sent to seed dealers in the Roushes’ trade area. (Copy may be provided to a third party).
- The lawsuit was dismissed by a Joint Stipulation of Dismissal (Copy may be provided to a third party).
- The parties may say “The pleadings and documents contained in the court’s records speak for themselves.”
While Mr. Roush has chosen to speak beyond this agreement, Monsanto feels compelled to honor our commitment.
Mr. Roush has made several comments that fall outside of the scope of the lawsuit which we can address:
- Monsanto does not trespass in investigating patent infringement complaints. We don’t need to. The only time we need to go onto private property during an investigation (other than to meet with the farmer) is to take samples. We do this only by permission of the farmer or under court order.
- Mr. Roush said that the introduction of patented seeds have pitted farmer against farmer and torn apart rural communities. Patent infringement has been a contentious issue in some communities where it has occurred. We would suggest that it is not the patenting of seeds that has caused this, but the actions of those few who have chosen to ignore the law and their agreements to save seed illegally. Monsanto is frequently made aware of saved seed cases by other farmers who contact our customer service line with this information. They do so because they feel it is unfair that they are being put at a competitive disadvantage by their neighbors who do not follow the law and legal agreements as they do.
It is interesting to point out, that while Mr. Roush is a harsh and frequent critic of Monsanto and GM crops, he remains a customer of Monsanto having purchased a considerable amount of corn and soybean seed from us during 2008.