Emory Law Journal


Sabrina Wilson


The landscape of modern organic farming changed drastically with the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Today¿s organic farmer must be constantly vigilant of the threat of GMO cross-contamination. Genetic drift and cross-contamination from GM crops will render organic crops unmarketable, resulting in economically damaged organic programs. Current regulatory systems are unable to protect against the risk of GMO contamination, relegating the judicial system to address the resulting damage. However, many organic farmers who find their crops contaminated are reluctant to seek redress for fear of possible patent infringement suits by the GMO patent owner (typically Monsanto). This is understandable considering that Monsanto continues to find support in the courts when enforcing its patent rights in GMOs. The unique nature of self-replicating GMOs has spurred many legal questions that lie at the intersection of patent owner and organic farming rights. This Comment explores the recourse currently available to the organic farmer harmed by GMO cross-contamination and argues for a new theory of liability: induced nuisance.