Federal Court Upholds Ban on Genetically-Engineered Alfalfa
September 4, 2008
Alfalfa farmers and the environment won a major victory this week. On September 2nd, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a nationwide injunction on production of genetically-engineered "Roundup Ready" alfalfa (an alfalfa crop that is tolerant of glyphosate, a toxic ingredient in the herbicide “Roundup”) in a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club, organic farmers and other groups, represented by attorneys with the Center for Food Safety. The court rejected arguments by the Monsanto Company and others that the injunction should be lifted, finding that the potentially devastating impacts to organic alfalfa, as well as potential harm to the surrounding environment and the faming economy, outweighed the companies' fears about possible economic losses. This decision affirms a 2007 decision in which a U.S. District Court ruled that the Bush administration violated national environmental laws by allowing production of genetically-engineered crops without first preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to assess the likely harm to the environment and organic farmers. The District Court had also emphasized the government’s failure to consider the cumulative environmental harm that would result from increased use of Roundup (glyphosate), a toxic herbicide, on “Roundup Ready” alfalfa. This is an important ruling that should force government regulators to "look before they leap" before approving the production of genetically-engineered crops.
Details and Documents:
To view the opinion click here.
Read the Center for Food Safety Press Release
Court Puts Genetically Engineereed Alfalfa on Hold
September 2, 2008, Bay City News
See other "Safeguarding Communities" cases.