19 June 2012, 16:01 BST
Monsanto, the multinational agribusiness giant that brought us genetically modified (GMO) corn, soy, and cotton (as well as Agent Orange, dioxin, and other nasties), broke the rules in Brazil, and it's going to cost them.
While US courts have been pretty tolerant of Monsanto (Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is a former Monsanto employee), the Brazillian courts aren't putting up with their bullshit. They ruled that a lawsuit from a group of farmers in one region should apply apply to all farmers across the country - which means Monsanto will end up owing between $2 billion and $7.5 billion.
What happened? The case was pretty straightforward.
Jane Berwanger, a lawyer for the farmers, attacked the very idea that Monsanto should be able to collect a royalty for every generation of their GMO seeds:
"Monsanto gets paid when it sells the seeds. The law gives producers the right to multiply the seeds they buy and nowhere in the world is there a requirement to pay (again)."
Monsanto has appealed the decision, and it make take years before the final ruling comes down.
(Image by ianmackenz on Flickr via Creative Commons.)
Source: Red, Green and Blue