The order that prohibited farmers from planting Roundup Ready alfalfa for the past three years was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in a seven-to-one ruling Monday. The court stated the district court abused its discretion in 2007 and the new ruling will allow USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to take appropriate action to allow further planting while it completes an Environmental Impact Statement. The move was welcomed by a coalition of ag organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and American Soybean Association, that filed a joint friend-of-the-court brief in support of the petitioners in the case. According to Monsanto's Senior Vice President and General Counsel David Snively the ruling is important for every American farmer.
Roundup Ready alfalfa completed a food safety review by the FDA and was granted non-regulated status in 2005 by USDA. Another review by the EPA found use of Roundup on the crop to be safe. Before the injunction in 2007 the crop was planted by nearly 5,500 growers across more than 220,000 acres. Monsanto's Alfalfa Business Lead Steve Welker says the ruling is exceptionally good news received in time for the next planting season and something farmers have been waiting to hear for quite some time. He says the goal is to have everything in place for growers to plant this fall. Snively says all growers can rely on USDA's expertise and trust that future challenges to biotech approvals must now be based on facts and not speculation.
Visit www.monsanto.com for more information on the Roundup Ready alfalfa case.