St. Louis Public Radio News
7:20 pm
Tue May 5, 2009

Monsanto says competitor is illegally using seed trait

St. Louis, MO –

St. Louis-based Monsanto is accusing a competitor of illegally using its seed engineering techniques to produce competing herbicide-resistant seeds. Monsanto filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Pioneer Hi-Bred International Monday.

The suit alleges that the DuPont subsidiary has combined Monsanto's Roundup Ready seed trait with a DuPont-developed trait to make crops resistant to herbicide.

Peter Goldsmith is an agribusiness professor at the University of Illinois. He says DuPont is licensed to sell Roundup Ready seeds, but the legal question is whether it can combine Monsanto's trait with its own trait to make a new product.

"A judge is trying to determine whether competition is being stifled and, if it is, is society worse off."

Goldsmith says the decision could come down to the way the company's initial contracts were worded.


Pioneer is licensed to sell Roundup Ready seeds.