Monsanto's intimidation tactics are no longer legal in California
AB 541 indemnifies California farmers who have not been able to prevent the inevitable drift of GE pollen or seed onto their land with the subsequent contamination of their non-GE crops. Farmers with crops that become contaminated by patented seeds or pollen have been the target of harassment lawsuits brought by Monsanto. The bill also protects these farmers from liability if their contaminated crops cause harm to other farmers, the environment or consumers.
AB 541 was sponsored by a coalition including Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), Earthbound Farm, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), and United Natural Foods Inc "AB 541 provides much needed protection for farmers who typically lack the resources to fight lawsuits brought by biotech conglomerates," stated Renata Brillinger, director of the Genetic Engineering Policy Project, which is the coalition that sponsored AB 541. "This is a good first step towards establishing that Monsanto—not farmers—is legally responsible for the economic, environmental and health harms caused by their patented and uncontrollable products."