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Comments on jail time for farmer removed from online ag mag

(Monday, May 12, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Colorado farmer and frequent CropChoice contributor David Dechant wrote the following message to AgOnline regarding his comments on Kem Ralph, the farmer who'll be going to jail for lying about hiding Monsanto's genetically engineered cotton seed. The seed was evidence in the company's lawsuit against him.

"Dear AgOnline,

Who deleted my post about Kem Ralph getting sent to prison?

Was it really that bad?

A farmer getting prosecuted for saving seed once told me that during a depostition with Monsanto's lawyers, he was asked why he didn't know that seed saving was prohibited, "why, didn't he read the farm magazines?"

Hell, the farm press has made very little mention of the controversy surrounding Monsanto's seed saving prohibition, so how could he find out even if he did read the farm magazines?!

And, this farmer genuinely didn't know that he couldn't save seed. He was driving truck over the road most of the time so he could keep his farm!

My opinions are my own and do not reflect AgOnline's opinions and those of its advertisers, as your policy so well states. And, I did no name calling this time. So, why did you erase my post? You are only giving credibility to my statement, "We see how Monsanto spends millions buying influence with commodity groups, politicians, the press, etc., ...."

I should have been more specific and said the "Farm Press."

As farm journalist Alan Geubert recently wrote, "I weep for my profession."

I weep for it, too, even though it isn't my profession.

David Dechant

The St. Louis Post Dispatch story, "Farmer who lied in dispute with Monsanto will go to prison," is available at http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/news/10B20CFF4D9FA42386256D2000117772?OpenDocument&highlight=2%2CKem%2CRalph&headline=Farmer+who+lied+in+dispute+with+Monsanto+will+go+to+prison++. It's also the current "Featured Link" on the CropChoice "Links" page.