Unless the next field is literally right over the fence, cross fertilization from the wind is not much of a risk.My biggest concern is not Monsanto's lawyers, but their scientists. The reason I use heirloom seeds is because I don't want Monsanto's non-food genetic Frankenstiens growing in my little farm/garden. If they get deposited there by wind or birds, or, worse yet, if their pollen fertilizes my heirloom plants, I come to harm because the purity of my crops is damaged. The fact that Monsanto could sue is just adding insult to injury.
In a news release, Monsanto said it has never sued farmers over inadvertent presence of its patented traits in their fields and has committed to not do so.
"(The foundation's) approach is a publicity stunt designed to confuse the facts about American agriculture and we will vigorously defend ourselves. It is well established that biotech crops have provided significant benefit to farmers and the environment, including increased yields."
The company has said it pursues farmers who violate patents by illegally planting its seed. Most of the cases are settled without going to trial.
The company has filed 144 lawsuits for patent infringement since 1997 through April 2010. Nine of those have gone through a full trial, and in every case a judge or jury decided in the company's favor, according to a company spokeswoman.