Love ’em or hate ’em, Monsanto is a big fucking company. And they’re big, because they’ve made a product that farmers LOVE!
Here’s some sciency bullshit for your reading pleasure. We all know pesticides can be harmful to consumers, so Monsanto developed a seed that was resistant to their weed killer glyphosate, Glyphosate kills vegetation dead, largely by preventing plants from photosynthesizing or some shit like that, while being pretty much harmless to animals, such as humans, in small doses.
Biology lesson: Everything is a poison, what matters is the dose. So if people tell you a chemical is harmful, and they don’t tell you at what dose it’s harmful, they’re talking shit. Like seriously, ignore it. The dose matters just as much when discussing this shit. People have literally died drinking too much water (overdose of H2O), and the most powerful poison known to man (botulinum) people inject right into their fucking face for vanity reasons because it’s such a low dose, it’s safe.
Back to the sciency bullshit. If you create a seed that resists glyphosate, you can use just glyphosate as your pesticide, and not the myriad of other pesticides you’d normally use to kill all the different weeds, yet your crop still grows. The overall list of potentially harmful chemicals on your crop is reduced, and thus is presumably safer to eat.
Sounds complicated, right? That’s because it is. Science is hard as fuck! Monsanto spend gazillions developing this shit, and they want to get paid for their investment, otherwise, why the hell would they do it?
So Monsanto patented their gene-edited seeds, and sell them to people with the agreement that they will buy new seeds from Monsanto every year, and won’t use seeds from the offspring of the previous year’s plants.
The gene edits are effectively clones, and all life mutates in nature (natural selection depends on this) as it procreates, so in order for it to work its best, you want a new crop of the same clones each year. Not 2nd generation mutated bullshit seeds.
Along comes this cheapskate motherfucker Bowman who signed a contract with Monsanto, and complied with their regs for a while. One thing Monsanto allows for in their regs, is selling second gen seeds to a grain elevator, which are then usually used to feed livestock and shit, not to replant for next year’s crop.
But Bowman did exactly that. He used seeds from a grain elevator, and planted that shit, in direct violation of his contract. This motherfucker planted them, used glyphosate to fertilize them, then whatever still grew, he knew it was the good shit and he could keep using it. Sneaky AF!
It’s basically like buying a Metallica album, then throwing it up on Napster so other people can get it free. He was duplicating their patented shit and making money off of it without giving Monsanto their cut, and violating his contract with them. He know what he was doing.
So Monsanto sued and said, “Listen, we have a fucking contract. If you don’t want to use our shit, don’t use it. But if you do, you fucking pay us for it like you agreed to, you cheap bastard. You don’t go around using copies and act like it’s all good and shit.”
Bowman was like, “Man, I didn’t copy shit. Nature copied it. I just took advantage of what nature does, man!”
So SCOTUS was called, and asked to weigh in. SCOTUS wasn’t hearing Bowman’s bullshit. They unanimously told Bowman to go pound sand up his ass. They were so moved by Bowman’s bullshit, that they did the rare reading aloud of their decision.
Hear both oral arguments and the rare oral reading of the opinion, as well as read about the case here.