#1 Monsanto: The Father of GMOs
The U.S. agricultural biotech corporation, Monsanto specializes in transgenics but . . . is that a third arm?! The company was the first to genetically modify a plant cell in 1983. <!--more-->Today it's known for its "Roundup brand" under which it's the world's leading supplier and producer of GM seeds coupled with a powerful herbicide, called "Roundup". The Roundup brand is twofold: first farmers plant the GM seeds which produce crops resistant to the herbicide Roundup, secondly the crops are sprayed with Roundup, killing weeds and insects while not harming the GM crop plants. Monsanto's Roundup brand carries licensed patents, which they aggressively protect. Recently in May 2013, they won a U.S. Supreme Court case, by charging an Indiana farmer for GM seed infringement. The court ruled against the farmer in violation of making "copies" of the patented seed by "harvesting" them from older plants. Monsanto claims they wouldn't pursue lawsuits in situations where "trace amounts" of stray GMO plants are found, but they've more than "800 patent-infringement cases against farmers", all in which they request royalty payments. Their disputes are costly, and many feel Monsanto's controversial term "trace amounts" needs to be legally quantified.