Supreme Court Alfalfa Hearings –
THE CROP HEARD AROUND THE WORLD!
The following is taken from the Sustainable Culture Group on Facebook –
Monsanto challenges alfalfa ban in Supreme Court
The genetically engineered alfalfa case will be heard on April 27. This is the first genetically engineered crop case ever heard by the Supreme Court.
Lower courts found the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) failed to analyze the gmo crop’s impacts on farmers and the environment and the USDA violated environmental laws and the agency must rigorously analyze the crop’s impacts.
Monsanto’s challenges the three year ban on planting genetically modified alfalfa designed to resist Roundup weed killer. The case is about farmers choice according to Monsanto (what about consumer’s choice?).
In a laughable statement, Monsanto said reviews of biotech crops should be based on science.
Five friends-of-the-court briefs have been filed in support of Monsanto by a total of 18 groups: American Farm Bureau Federation, Biotechnology Industry Organization, American Seed Trade Association, American Soybean Association, National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cotton Council and National Potato Council, Sugarbeet Growers Association, U.S. Beet Sugar Association and National Corn Growers Association, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Home Builders, CropLife America, The Washington Legal Foundation, Allied Education Foundation and the Pacific Legal Foundation.
Food companies, farmers unions, scientific experts and legal scholars filed briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Center for Food Safety.
The Attorneys General of California, Oregon and Massachusetts filed a brief supporting the Center, emphasizing their states interest in protecting natural resources and the environment.
The Union of Concerned Scientists and other scientific experts warned Monsanto’s alfalfa would harm farmers, the public and contaminate agriculture and the environment forever.
Over a dozen law professors, scholars and several former General Counsels of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) filed two separate briefs explaining the lower courts were entirely correct. CEQ is the expert federal agency charged with overseeing the statute in question in the case, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA):
Conventional farmers and exporters filed a brief warning of lost alfalfa markets in Asia, Europe and the Middle East because they reject gmo-contaminated crops. The Arkansas Rice Growers Association in 2006 lost overseas markets because of biotech rice contamination.
Organic businesses and trade groups including Organic Valley, Stonyfield Farms, the Organic Trade Association, United Natural Foods, Eden Foods, Annie’s, Clif Bar and Nature’s Path Foods warned of damage to their businesses from unwanted biotech contamination. The $25 billion-a-year organic industry has been the fastest growing segment of U.S. agriculture for the last ten years.
The risk of contamination from gmo alfalfa is great because the alfalfa is pollinated by bees that can fly many miles to cross-pollinate different fields.