Monsanto won another round in a legal battle with organic growers Monday as an appeals court threw out the growers' efforts to stop the company from suing farmers if traces of its patented biotech genes are found in crops.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a ruling that found organic growers had no reason to try to block Monsanto from suing them, as the company had pledged it would not take them to court if biotech crops accidentally mix in with organics.
Organic farmers and others have worried for years that Monsanto will sue them for patent infringement if their crops get contaminated with Monsanto biotech crops.
(Read More: Supreme Court Rules for Monsanto in Patent Case)
In its ruling Monday, the appellate court said that organic growers must rely on company assurances on its website that it will not sue them so long as the mix is very slight.
"Monsanto's binding representations remove any risk of suit against the appellants as users or sellers of trace amounts (less than one percent) of modified seed," the court stated in its ruling.
In a statement issued Monday, the company said, "The assertion that Monsanto would pursue patent infringement against farmers that have no interest in using the company's patented seed technology was hypothetical from the outset."
Monsanto has developed a reputation for zealously defending patents on its genetically altered crops, which include patented "Roundup Ready" soybeans, corn and cotton, genetically altered to tolerate treatments of its Roundup weedkiller.