USDA should have prepared a full environmental impact study before approving Roundup Ready alfalfa for release, according to a U.S. District Court ruling. Three days later, on Feb. 16, a coalition led by the Center for Food Safety filed its second lawsuit against USDA, this time asking for the rescinding of the deregulated status of Roundup Ready alfalfa.
The Feb. 13 ruling, from U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer of the Northern District of California, said “substantial questions were raised. They include: whether (1) the deregulation of Roundup Ready alfalfa without any geographic restrictions will lead to the transmission of the engineered gene to organic and conventional alfalfa; (2) the possible extent of such transmission; and (3) farmers’ ability to protect their crops from acquiring the genetically engineered gene.” USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service did not demonstrate that it took “a ‘hard look’ at the potential environmental impacts of its deregulation decision,” according to the court ruling. The parties are to meet and submit a proposed judgment by Feb. 26.