Is Roundup Ready alfalfa safe from further legal entanglements? That’s a question on the minds of growers, alfalfa industry representatives and the general public. So Hay & Forage Grower and eHay Weekly asked Monsanto and the Center for Food Safety (CFS), the chief protagonists in the war on the transgenic crop, for an update.
Here’s what Monsanto, which has been given the green light by USDA to relaunch sales of Roundup Ready alfalfa, had to say to the question, “Is there a chance subsequent lawsuits will void USDA’s approval of Genuity Roundup Ready alfalfa? What is a farmer to do if there are additional legal challenges?”
“There may well be additional legal challenges; however, we will take every action to prevent and do not anticipate restrictions on the sale and planting of Genuity Roundup Ready alfalfa,” according to Monsanto’s email response. “We will continue to vigorously protect the technology and the right for farmers to use the technology if they wish.”
CFS, which filed the 2007 lawsuit to stop the sale of the crop, promised to keep fighting against its use.
“We still fully intend to challenge the approval and file a lawsuit,” says George Kimbrell, CFS attorney. “We’re going to challenge under the National Environmental Policy Act again, this time arguing that the EIS (environmental impact statement) is inadequate. Secondly, we’re going to challenge under the Endangered Species Act.”
Kimbrell says CFS will contest the decision that USDA doesn’t have to consult with the U.S. fish and wildlife service on Roundup Ready alfalfa’s impact on endangered species.