Federal Court Upholds Ban on Genetically Engineered Alfalfa

GE alfalfa at USDA

GE alfalfa at USDA

Appeals Court Rules Planting of Biotech Crop Can Cause Irreversible Harm to Organic and Conventional Crops, Farmers, and the Environment.

Monsanto’s Petition to Rehear Denied in Full

The Center for Food Safety

In a decision handed down here today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has re-affirmed its previous decision upholding a nationwide ban on the planting of genetically-engineered (GE) Roundup Ready alfalfa pending a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Court determined that the planting of genetically modified alfalfa can result in potentially irreversible harm to organic and conventional varieties of crops, damage to the environment, and economic harm to farmers.

Although the suit was brought against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Monsanto Company and Forage Genetics entered into the suit as Defendant-Intervenors. In September 2008 the Ninth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling, but the Intervenors continued to press the appeal alone, requesting the appellate court to rehear the case. Today’s decision denied that request and re-affirmed the earlier decision in full.

This ruling affirms a major victory for consumers, ranchers, organic farmers, and most conventional farmers across the country, said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety. Roundup Ready Alfalfa represents a very real threat to farmers’ livelihoods and the environment; the court rightly dismissed Monsanto’s claims that their bottom line should come before the rights of the public and America’s farmers. This ruling is a turning point in the regulation of biotech crops in this country.

Read the full post at The Center for Food Safety


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