This is infuriating:
Homan McFarling has been farming here all his life, growing mostly soybeans along with a little corn. After each harvest, he puts some seed aside.
"Every farmer that ever farmed has saved some of his seed to plant again," he said.
In 1998, Mr. McFarling bought 1,000 bags of genetically altered soybean seeds, and he did what he had always done. But the seeds, called Roundup Ready, are patented. When Monsanto, which holds the patent, learned what Mr. McFarling had sown, it sued him in federal court in St. Louis for patent infringement and was awarded $780,000.
The company calls the planting of saved seed piracy, and it says it has won millions of dollars from farmers in lawsuits and settlements in such cases. Mr. McFarling's is the first to reach a federal appeals court, which will consider how the law should reconcile patented food with a practice as old as farming itself.
If the appeals court rules against him, said Mr. McFarling, 61, he will be forced into bankruptcy and early retirement.
...The idea that planting saved seed amounts to patent infringement ... follows inexorably from two United States Supreme Court decisions allowing patents for life forms....
--New York Times
How did we allow this to happen? Oh, yeah, I forget: We kept electing Republican presidents, and they put a lot of idiots on the Supreme Court.