[Local_activists] Monsanto Takes Center for Food Safety Legal Victory to Highest Court about the risks of genetically engineered crops.
Raging Grannie (Wanda B)
wsb70 at comcast.net
Sat Jan 16 15:22:52 PST 2010
The need all the help they can get to fight Monsanto
THE TRUE FOOD NETWORK - http://truefoodnow.org/
Breaking News: Monsanto Takes Center for Food
Safety Legal Victory to Highest Court
(January 15, 2010) Today, the U.S. Supreme Court
decided to hear a first-time 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 modified alfalfa seed at the heart of the
dispute has been engineered to be immune to
Monsantos flagship herbicide Roundup. Monsanto
intervened in a 2007 federal district court
ruling that the Department of Agricultures
approval of GE alfalfa was illegal. The Center
for Food Safety (CFS) filed a 2006 lawsuit on
behalf of a coalition of non-profits and farmers
who wished to retain the choice to plant non-GE
alfalfa. CFS was victorious in this case in
addition CFS has won two appeals by Monsanto in
the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: in
2008 and again in 2009. Now, upon Monsantos
insistence, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.
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 USDAs
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.
The federal district court required the
Department of Agriculture to undertake an
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) assessing
the impacts of the crop on the environment and on
farmers; the first time the U.S. government had
ever undertaken such analysis for any GE
crop. The court permitted farmers that had
already planted to continue, but halted any
further planting pending the agencys
re-assessment. That the EIS was required is not
in dispute; the legal issue is only the scope of
relief while USDA analyzed the impacts of the crop for the first time.
In October 2009 Monsanto asked the Supreme Court
to hear further arguments. In response, the
Center and the U.S. government separately opposed
that request the following December. USDA
completed the first draft of the EIS in December 2009.
Although we believe a further hearing is
unnecessary, we are confident we will again
prevail, as the lower courts have already three
times determined, continued Kimbrell. We hope
that this grand stage will further inform the
public, policymakers and the media about the
significant risks of genetically engineered crops
and the vital need to protect farmers and the environment.
Alfalfa is the fourth most widely grown crop in
the U.S. and a key source of dairy forage. It is
the first perennial crop to be genetically
engineered. It is open-pollinated by bees, which
can cross-pollinate at distances of several
miles, spreading the patented, foreign DNA to
conventional and organic crops. Such biological
contamination threatens the livelihood of organic
farmers and dairies, since the U.S. Organic
standard prohibits genetic engineering, and
alfalfa exporters, since most overseas
governments also reject GE-contaminated crops.
We trust the Supreme Court will uphold farmers
right to choose their crop of choice and protect
us from the constant fear of contamination from
GE crops, said Phil Geertson, an alfalfa farmer based in Idaho.
showed that the use of genetically modified
crops, the vast majority Monsantos roundup
ready crops, has caused over the last 13 years a
dramatic increase in herbicide use, by 383
million pounds, and concomitant harms to the environment and human health.
The U.S. Department of Justice has undertaken an
of Monsanto regarding violations of anti-trust
and monopoly laws and is set to hold public hearings in spring 2010.
showed that, despite decades of promises and
hype, GE crops do not increase yields.
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If we do not do the impossible, we shall be
faced with the unthinkable. social philosopher Murray Bookchin
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