Court upholds deregulation of Roundup Ready Alfalfa
The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Friday upheld a lower-court ruling that unconditionally deregulated alfalfa genetically modified to withstand Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. The Court of Appeals determined that U.S. agriculture officials correctly deemed that Roundup Ready alfalfa is not considered a plant pest, as plaintiffs had claimed.
“The Court of Appeals’ ruling provides legal certainty for U.S. alfalfa growers,” said Kyle McClain, Monsanto’s chief litigation counsel, in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg Businessweek. “The decision is an important reaffirmation of the federal government’s process for regulating biotechnology-improved crops.”
The recent lawsuit was the second attempt by environmental groups to overturn the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) decision to deregulate the alfalfa. These groups argued that the Roundup Ready Alfalfa would contaminate organic crops and lead to more resistant weeds.
The Plant Protection Act, “does not regulate the types of harms that the plaintiffs complain of,” and the Agriculture Department correctly concluded that Roundup Ready Alfalfa wasn’t a “plant pest,” the appeals court said in its written opinion. “Once the agency concluded that Roundup Ready Alfalfa was not a plant pest, it no longer had jurisdiction to continue regulating the plant.”
The Center for Food Safety, which was one of the plaintiffs, was not pleased by the recent decision and said it will pursue other legal options to “halt the sale and planting of this harmful crop,” the group said in an e-mailed statement.
“This is an irresponsible decision,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director, The Center for Food Safety. “The court acknowledged the many stark environmental and economic impacts of these crops, and yet bends over backwards in allowing USDA to avoid addressing those concerns in its regulatory process.”
- AFBF: What EPA isn’t telling you about its latest CWA rule
- Rentech Nitrogen Partners to supply TKI with ammonia
- CF Industries’ Woodward N complex shut down for repairs
- EPA reorganizes OPP’s registration division
- USDA to provide $4 million for honey bee habitat
- The other crops couldn't duplicate Thursday night soy gains
- ValueAct buys stake in fertilizer dealer Agrium
- DuPont Crop Protection to sell certain assets to Bayer
- Critics of Dow herbicide sue U.S. EPA over approval
- Six tips to help professionals take leaps of faith
- Nitrogen fertilization rates for corn production
- Landmark Services Co-op, Curry Seeds sign agreement