Monsanto last week filed a notice of appeal seeking to overturn the May 3 permanent injunction that outlaws the planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa until USDA completes an environmental impact statement. The appeal was filed to "correct the legal standards" applied as the basis for the injunction. The company also asserts that irreparable financial harm will come to growers, seed dealers, Forage Genetics International and Monsanto while the environmental impact statement is completed.

The appeal will be heard in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but no date has been set.

The environmental impact statement is expected to take up to two years. Meanwhile, growers harvesting existing Roundup Ready alfalfa fields must follow required procedures aimed at preventing the spread of the Roundup Ready gene. On July 12, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued an administrative order that includes a guide for cleaning equipment used to harvest the transgenic crop, and requirements for labeling Roundup Ready alfalfa that leaves the farm where it was grown. One of those requirements is that all Roundup Ready alfalfa bales be labeled. Seed companies, growers and university agronomists have asked APHIS to modify the wording to state that every hay lot, not every bale, must be labeled, except in situations where bales are sold individually.