Yesterday (July 23), Neil Young shared the brief documentary, Seeding Fear, which explores one Alabama farmer’s legal battle with Monsanto over patent infringement. Now, the agriculture conglomerate has issued a response.

Michael White, the subject of Young’s film, was sued after cleaning Monsanto’s patented, genetically modified Roundup Ready soybeans. However, Seeding Fear suggests he did so unknowingly -- a manipulation orchestrated by Monsanto itself. A representative for Monsanto now refutes those claims, suggesting that White “is not transparent in describing his actions or the situation.”

“He actually admitted to knowingly planting, producing, saving, cleaning and selling Roundup Ready soybeans illegally,” Monsanto’s Kyel Richard writes. “All of this information is available in court documents.”

Richard then offers an analogy between the company's patent infringement cases and piracy within the music industry. “Mr. White’s actions are equivalent to pirating an album, producing thousands of copies, and selling bootleg copies,” the statement reads, “all while knowing what you’re doing is illegal and that it will result in criminal charges if caught.”

Richard also argues that Monsanto’s lawsuits make up “a fraction of 1 percent” of the farmers who plant their seeds. The statement then directs readers to a series of publications issued by Monsanto that respond to the claims made in Seeding Fear and Young’s latest album, The Monsanto Years. You can read them here, here and here.

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