At first glance, it was an open-and-shut case. In 1998, Mississippi farmer Homan McFarling bought soybean seeds with genetic traits owned by Monsanto, then as now the world's dominant provider of genetically modified seeds -- and also the biggest herbicide maker. Like all farmers who buy GM seeds, McFarling signed a contract obliging him not to hold back any of the resulting harvest as seed for the next year's planting. But McFarling saved his seeds anyway -- and Monsanto busted him. Hot to protect its multibillion-dollar investment in genetic modification, Monsanto set loose a cadre of rent-a-cops into the farm …
Get Grist in Your Inbox
Amory Lovins’ high-tech home skimps on energy but not on comfort
This little fox loves transit. Should we tell him he just missed his stop?
Plants are poison — and that just may be why they keep us healthy
Millions alive today would have to die before the paleo diet could take over
Meet the Andy Griffith who’s going after fracking polluters