To an intimidating

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Like many others in rural America, Rinehart knew of Monsanto’s fierce reputation for enforcing its patents and suing anyone who allegedly violated them. They fan out into fields and farm towns, where they secretly videotape and photograph farmers, store owners, and co-ops; infiltrate community meetings; and gather information from informants about farming activities.

Farmers say that some Monsanto agents pretend to be surveyors.

I felt like I was in another country.”Gary Rinehart is actually one of Monsanto’s luckier targets. In a 2007 report, the Center for Food Safety, in Washington, D. Even more significant, in the Center’s opinion, are the numbers of farmers who settle because they don’t have the money or the time to fight Monsanto.

According to Freese, investigators will say, “Monsanto knows that you are saving Roundup Ready seeds, and if you don’t sign these information-release forms, Monsanto is going to come after you and take your farm or take you for all you’re worth.” Investigators will sometimes show a farmer a photo of himself coming out of a store, to let him know he is being followed.Some compare Monsanto’s hard-line approach to Microsoft’s zealous efforts to protect its software from pirates.At least with Microsoft the buyer of a program can use it over and over again.Rinehart later learned that the company had been secretly investigating farmers in his area.Rinehart never heard from Monsanto again: no letter of apology, no public concession that the company had made a terrible mistake, no offer to pay his attorney’s fees. “If I tried to do something like that it would be bad news. seeds, in 1996, Monsanto has launched thousands of investigations and filed lawsuits against hundreds of farmers and seed dealers.

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