, TNN | Jun 12, 2012, 04.14PM IST

NEW DELHI: Five million Brazilian farmers have taken on US based biotech companyMonsanto through a lawsuit demanding return of about 6.2 billion euros t
aken as royalties from them. The farmers are claiming that the powerful company has unfairly extracted these royalties from poor farmers because
they were using seeds produced from crops grown from Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds, reports Merco Press.

In April this year, a judge in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, ruled in favor of the farmers and ordered Monsanto to return royalties paid since 2004 or a minimum of $2 billion. The ruling said that the business practices of seed multinational Monsanto violate the rules of the Brazilian Cultivars Act (No. 9.456/97). Monsanto has appealed against the order and a federal court ruling on the case is now expected by 2014.

About 85% of Brazil’s massive soyabean crop output is produced from genetically engineered seeds. Brazil exports about $24.1 billion worth of soyabeans annually, more than a quarter of its total agri-exports.