USDA Granted Authority in Alfalfa Case

The Supreme Court ruled that the injunction against Roundup Ready alfalfa after a 7-1 ruling in the case of Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms.
Lower courts put an injunction on the use of Roundup Ready alfalfa after organic farmers felt the seeds were violated the National Environmental Policy Act. These farmers felt that Roundup Ready seeds put their organic crops in harm’s way because the seeds could be carried naturally to their organic farms.
The Supreme Court ruled that district courts did not have the authority to issue an injunction and that an Environmental Impact Statement must be issued for an injunction consideration.
The Supreme Court found that no harm would be caused by the partial deregulation of the product as the Environmental Impact Statement is issued. The ban of the product across the nation would have a much more harmful effect according to the courts.
“The real issue here was whether or not the USDA and APHIS would be blocked from taking interim measures to allow expanded planting while the Environmental Impact Statement was being prepared,” said David Snively the Monsanto senior vice president. “It was an important ruling because it clarified that the NEPA injunction that was entered by the district court really was a thumb on the scales on the way the system is normally supposed to work. And the court made pretty clear that standard rules apply and there has to be a balancing of interests before broad injunctive relief can be granted.”
The statement may take as long as one year to draw up and could cause disruption to an entire planting season.
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