Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear a first-time case about the risks of genetically engineered crops. Named Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475, the case before the high court will be yet another step in an ongoing battle waged by the Center for Food Safety to protect consumers and the environment from potentially harmful effects of genetically engineered (GE) crops. The modified alfalfa seed at the heart of the dispute has been engineered to be immune to Monsanto’s flagship herbicide Roundup. Monsanto intervened in a 2007 federal district court ruling that the Department of Agriculture’s approval of GE alfalfa was illegal. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a 2006 lawsuit on behalf of a coalition of non-profits and farmers who wished to retain the choice to plant non-GE alfalfa. CFS was victorious in this case – in addition CFS has won two appeals by Monsanto in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: in 2008 and again in 2009. Now, upon Monsanto’s insistence, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.
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To view the recently completed EIS on GE alfalfa, supplementary documents and comment on the EIS, click here
A 2009 study showed that the use of genetically modified crops, the vast majority Monsanto’s “roundup ready” crops, has caused over the last 13 years a dramatic increase in herbicide use, by 383 million pounds, and concomitant harms to the environment and human health.
The U.S. Department of Justice has undertaken an investigation of Monsanto regarding violations of anti-trust and monopoly laws and is set to hold public hearings in spring 2010.
Another 2009 study showed that, despite decades of promises and hype, GE crops do not increase yields