Supreme Court Backs Monsanto on Biotech Seed Planting
June 22, 2010
In its first-ever ruling on genetically modified crops, the Supreme Court on Monday overturned a lower court’s ban on the planting of alfalfa seeds engineered to resist Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide reports The New York Times. The decision was a victory for Monsanto and others in the agricultural biotechnology industry, with potential implications for other cases. The Supreme Court, in a 7-to-1 decision, said the lower court judge had gone too far, ruling that the national ban prevented the Agriculture Department from considering a partial approval. That avenue, the court said, would have allowed some of the alfalfa to be grown under certain conditions; for example, isolating it from conventional alfalfa. Because the Supreme Court left in place the lower court’s rejection of approving the crop, the Agriculture Department must either fully or partly approve it before growing can resume. The Agriculture Department said that it was on track to complete its environmental impact statement and approve the crop in time for next spring’s planting.