Blogs » The nature of things » Supreme Court to hear a case on genetically modified soybeans

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Indiana farmer Hugh Bowman planted soybeans he'd obtained from the local elevator, and they grew.

The company that created the genetically modified beans, Monsanto, claims that Bowman, by planting them, violated the company's restrictions.

It's an interesting case because the Supreme Court justices could take it as a chance to look at law concerning biotechnology, who owns, how they own it and how far the law stretches out to protect it, acccording to the Washington Post article.

Monsanto claims that people like Bowman could get in the way of innovations that could potentially feed the world. Bowman's supporters are hoping the Supreme Court ruling will wrest the agribusiness from corporate hands.

Also, as the Post article points out, this could raise interesting questions about the role of the farmer. When he or she grows a plant from seed, did the farmer make the plant, creating it, or is the plant just a tiny replica, engineered by corporations like Monsanto? It's a fascinating question, and this case will be an interesting one to keep an eye on. The High Court is slated to hear oral arguments on the case later this month.