US: Monsanto asks Supreme Court to review alfalfa ban
Posted: October 30th, 2009 - 7:50pm
Source: St. Louis Today
Monsanto Co. asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court's decision to ban the planting of genetically modified alfalfa until an environmental review is complete.
The petition by Creve Coeur-based Monsanto argues that taking biotech alfalfa off the market creates an unnecessary burden for alfalfa hay and seed growers.
"We feel the court took some real drastic actions when it didn't need do," company spokesman Garrett Kasper said.
Zelig Golden, staff attorney for the Center for Food Safety, a Washington-based advocacy group, disagrees. Other courts have rejected arguments by Monsanto and the Department of Agriculture, and the Supreme Court should, too, he said.
The Center for Food Safety was part of a coalition of environmental groups and alfalfa growers that sued the Agriculture Department in 2006, arguing that the agency unlawfully approved Monsanto's alfalfa, which is genetically modified to resist applications of Roundup herbicide.
In June, a federal appeals court voted 2-1 to uphold a 2007 district court ruling and to maintain a two-year-old injunction preventing farmers from planting the crop.
The injunction doesn't affect farmers who have already planted Roundup Ready alfalfa, which makes up about 1 percent of the U.S. crop.