Monsanto was hit with a class-action lawsuit yesterday, brought by a coalition of small farmers and farm groups that accuse the company of rushing genetically modified seeds to the marketplace without properly testing them for safety and giving farmers false guarantees about the marketability of genetically modified crops. The suit, filed by some of the most well-known antitrust lawyers in the U.S., also accuses Monsanto and nine other companies of forming an international cartel that conspired to control the world’s market in corn and soybean seeds. Jeremy Rifkin, a prominent anti-biotechnology activist, initiated the lawsuit, and a coalition of environmental groups, including Greenpeace, are serving as advisors in the case. The suit comes at a critical time, the season in which North American farmers decide which seeds to buy for the coming year’s harvests.