The biotechnology giant Monsanto is one step closer to losing billions of dollars in revenues from its genetically-modified (GM) Roundup Ready soya beans, following a ruling this week by the Brazilian Supreme Court of Justice.
The decision marks the latest chapter of an epic legal battle, in which millions of Brazilian farmers are trying to recover payments made to the company over the past decade. It could also have important implications for research in the country, some scientists say.
Since the legalization, Monsanto has charged Brazilian farmers 2% of their sales of Roundup Ready soya beans, which now account for an estimated 85% of the nation’s soya-bean crop. The company also tests Brazilian soya beans that are sold as non-GM — if they turn out to be Roundup Ready, the company charges the farmers responsible for the crops some 3% of their sales.