DuPont Company, which owns DuPont Pioneer, is sending former police officers across Canada to prevent farmers from a practice that they once took for granted.
The company has deployed dozens of former officers across Canada, Bloomberg
reports, and soon will send officers to check on farmers in the United States.
DuPont, provider of Roundup Ready soybeans, the best-selling genetically modified soybean seed, has directed the former policemen to look for evidence of farmers illegally saving the seeds from harvests to replant them next season. The common practice is not allowed under sales contracts.
DuPont Roundup Ready soybeans tolerate being sprayed by Monsanto Co's
Roundup herbicide. For years, enforcement was done by Monsanto, which created Roundup Ready and dominates the $13.3 billion biotech seed industry,although it's moving on to a new line of seeds now that patents are expiring. That leaves DuPont to play the bad guy, enforcing alternative patents so cheaper "illegal beans" don't get planted.
Soybeans are used to make animal feed, cooking oil, tofu and biofuels. It's the biggest crop after corn in the United States.
Soybeans are easier for farmers to replicate than other hybrid crops such as corn because second-generation beans don't lose vigor, tempting farmers to hold on to seeds.