Both sides are claiming victory in today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision concerning Roundup Ready alfalfa.
In a seven-to-one vote, the high court ruled that a federal district court acted improperly when, in 2007, it issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the sale and planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa seed until USDA completes an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the transgenic crop. U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer of San Francisco issued the injunction and a U.S. appeals court upheld it. Monsanto later appealed to the Supreme Court.
Today’s ruling “is important for every American farmer, not just alfalfa growers,” says David Snively, Monsanto’s senior vice president and general counsel. “All growers can rely on the expertise of USDA, and trust that future challenges to biotech approvals must now be based on scientific facts, not speculation.” Read more from Monsanto.
But the Center for Food Safety, the group that filed the lawsuit that resulted in the injunction, points out that the high court reversed only one aspect of the lower court’s rulings – the permanent injunction.
“The justices’ decision today means that the selling and planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa is illegal,” says Andrew Kimbrell, the center’s executive director. “The ban on the crop will remain in place until a full and adequate EIS is prepared by USDA and they officially deregulate the crop.” Read the center’s press release.