A Colombian farmer who became a global star for helping to protect farmers from the devastating effects of toxic agrochemicals is in a legal fight to have his trademark expunged after he was caught on camera in Colombia allegedly selling the chemicals.
“If you have the name of a company, then you have a right to defend it,” said Gabriel López, a lawyer who has been fighting against the trademark in the US and Argentina.
“But if you sell something that is toxic, then it is against the law to sell it.”
The lawsuit filed last month by Lóquez, a member of the Oaxaca farming community, alleges that his trademark, trademark registration number 489-08, was used to sell toxic agrobacteria-laden products that include insecticides, insecticides and fungicides.
“In a matter of months, the government of Colombia sold more than 100 million tons of pesticides,” Lóñez said in a statement.
“The government did this by illegally marketing products to its citizens and in particular the farmers of Oaxacas region, who were already suffering from the effects of agro-chemicals.”
The lawsuit claims that in 2014, Lóvez sold his trademark to a Colombian company called El Dorado, which later sold it to another company called Agroco, which sold it back to Lóquera.
In exchange, AgroCo allegedly sold the chemicals to another group of companies that were also listed on Lóño’s trademark.
The lawsuit alleges that Lólez’s trademark was used on more than 20 products including products that were sold as well as products that did not, and that the products were labeled as safe for humans to eat.
The government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, however, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
López’s lawyer, who declined to be identified, told Business Insider that his client has been denied a fair and equitable hearing and that he has not received any payment.
The suit also alleges that Agro Co. has sold products containing the pesticides without authorization and is seeking damages.