|Supreme Court Hearing First Case about Genetically Engineered Crops|
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided for the first-time to hear a case about the risks of genetically engineered crops. Named Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475, the case before the high court will be yet another step in an ongoing battle waged by the Center for Food Safety to protect consumers and the environment from potentially harmful effects of genetically engineered (GE) crops.
The Center for Food Safety filed the lawsuit in 2006 on behalf of a coalition of farmers and organizations objecting to the Department of Agriculture’s illegal approval of genetically modified alfalfa seeds. GM alfalfa is a major concern to organic farmers and dairies. It’s a key source of dairy forage, and because it is open-pollinated by bees it can cross-pollinate with fields several miles away, making the potential for GMO contamination very high. Monsanto has appealed the Federal District Court decision that required USDA to undertake an Environmental Impact Study assessing how the crop might affect the environment and farmers.
“This is truly a ‘David versus Goliath’ struggle, between public interest non-profits and a corporation bent on nothing less than domination of our food system,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. “That Monsanto has pushed this case all the way to the Supreme Court, even though USDA’s court-ordered analysis is now complete, and the U.S. government actively opposed further litigation in this matter, underscores the great lengths that Monsanto will go to further its mission of patent control of our food system and selling more pesticides.”