Monsanto may soon be forced to pay as much as 7.5 billion dollars back to the farmers who say that the mega corporation took their rightfully earned income and taxed their small businesses to financial shambles. It all started with a monumental lawsuit launched by over 5 million farmers against Monsanto looking to recover financial losses from ridiculous seed taxes that bankrupted many families.
Back in April, a Brazilian court ruled that Monsanto absolutely was responsible for paying back the exorbitant amounts of cash back to the farmers, ordering the company to issue back all of the taxes collected since 2004 — a minimum of 2 billion dollars. Afterwards, Monsanto appealed the decision and the case is now suspended until a further hearing is initiated by the Justice Tribune of the local court stationed in Rio Grande do Sul.
Recently, however, the Brazilian Supreme Court declared that any decision reached in a local court case should apply nationally. The result? Monsanto now faces even larger charges, due to the larger legal application on a national level. Now, the charges total or exceed 7.5 billion dollars. (more…)
Launching a lawsuit against the very company that is responsible for a farmer suicide every 30 minutes, 5 million farmers are now suing Monsanto for as much as 6.2 billion euros (around 7.7 billion US dollars). The reason? As with many other cases, such as the ones that led certain farming regions to be known as the ‘suicide belt’, Monsanto has been reportedly taxing the farmers to financial shambles with ridiculous royalty charges. The farmers state that Monsanto has been unfairly gathering exorbitant profits each year on a global scale from “renewal” seed harvests, which are crops planted using seed from the previous year’s harvest.
The practice of using renewal seeds dates back to ancient times, but Monsanto seeks to collect massive royalties and put an end to the practice. Why? Because Monsanto owns the very patent to the genetically modified seed, and is charging the farmers not only for the original crops, but the later harvests as well. Eventually, the royalties compound and many farmers begin to struggle with even keeping their farm afloat. It is for this reason that India slammed Monsanto with groundbreaking ‘biopiracy’ charges in an effort to stop Monsanto from ‘patenting life’. (more…)
PepsiCo may have succeeded in grossing out customers while attempting to defend itself against a man complaining he found a mouse in his can of Mountain Dew in 2009. Ronald Ball of Wisconsin claimed that he purchased a can of the bright green, super-caffeinated citrus-flavored soda only to discover mid-sip that there was a dead rodent inside, according to the Madison Record. Ball claimed that he sent the mouse in a Mason jar to Pepsi and that the company destroyed the evidence. He is seeking damages of $50,000.
PepsiCo is fighting back with some pretty disgusting proof: a scientist who testified on behalf of the company said that there was no way a mouse could have made it through the bottling process intact, that its body would have dissolved into a “jelly-like substance.”
The strange details emerged last week when PepsiCo asked a judge for more time to prepare a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. PepsiCo will likely defend itself against the gross allegations in a Wisconsin courtroom on Jan. 11.
In a lacerating decision that accused Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of willfully ignoring the racial imbalance in the New York Fire Department, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday that a court-appointed monitor would be installed to oversee the department’s recruitment efforts and ensure that more minority candidates are hired.
The decision by the judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, comes at the end of four years of bitter litigation in which the city and the Fire Department stood accused of allowing the department to remain almost 97 percent white for decades, despite the fact that the city’s population is about 25 percent black.
Judge Garaufis’s ruling was remarkable for both its language and its substance. He accused the city of “blame-shifting” and “accountability-avoidance” in ignoring the department’s longstanding racial inequities. “The city still doesn’t get it,” he wrote. The judge ruled that the only way to combat this official intransigence was to appoint a monitor with wide-ranging powers and a tenure of at least 10 years.
“The evidence adduced in this case gives the court little hope that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg or any of his senior leadership has any intention of stepping up to the task of ending discrimination at the F.D.N.Y.,” Judge Garaufis wrote. Later in the ruling, he continued, “Instead of facing hard facts and asking hard questions about the city’s abysmal track record of hiring black and Hispanic firefighters, the Bloomberg administration dug in and fought back.” (more…)
Pattie LaBelle Sued Over Vicious Airport Beating of West Point Cadet
‘Lady Marmalade’ singer and R&B queen Pattie LaBelle has been accused of ordering the beating of a West Point cadet at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas on March 11. According to the Houston Chronicle, Richard King, 23, was talking to his brother on his cell phone while approaching the airport’s passenger pickup area where Labelle’s limousine happened to be parked.
In security-camera footage of the incident, King is suddenly struck and thrown against a concrete pillar by LaBelle’s body guards and an unidentified woman. King subsequently tries to get up and leave the area but he falls continuously.
“Apparently, defendant LaBelle believed King was standing too close to her (no doubt expensive) luggage, even though he was oblivious to her presence and the danger he was in,” King’s attorney John Raley said in the lawsuit filing. “LaBelle lowered the window of her limousine and gave a command to her bodyguards. They sprang into action.”