EMAIL SIGN UP!
Most Popular This Week
- What the US Media Won't Tell You About Ukraine
- Heard the One About Obama Denouncing a Breach of International Law?
- Bernie Sanders: 'I Am Prepared to Run for President of the United States'
- Hundreds of Students Arrested Demanding Climate Action
- Ukraine in Context: What You Don't Know About a New Cold War
Today's Top News
Court Backs Monsanto on Biotech Seed Sales
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a federal judge had erred in prohibiting the planting of Monsanto’s genetically modified alfalfa seed until a federal government agency completed a detailed environmental review.
By a 7-to-1 vote, the justices reversed the lower-court ruling in their first decision involving genetically modified crops. At issue in the case was an environmental impact study on how the Roundup Ready seed could affect nearby crops.
Environmental groups and conventional seed companies, led by Geertson Seed Farms, had sued the Agriculture Department in 2006 to force it to rescind its approval of the Monsanto alfalfa seed until it did a full environmental study.
Monsanto, based in St. Louis, intervened on the government’s side in the case, and had appealed to the Supreme Court.
Alfalfa is the fourth-largest crop grown in the United States, covering about 23 million acres annually, Monsanto has said.
United States District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco issued the injunction barring the nationwide planting of the alfalfa seeds pending the environmental review. His decision was upheld by a federal appeals court.
In the Supreme Court’s main ruling, Justice Samuel Alito said the district court had abused its discretion in barring the Agriculture Department agency from carrying out a partial deregulation and in prohibiting the planting of the seeds, pending the completion of the environmental review.
Judge Alito also said in the opinion that the federal judge had erred in entering the nationwide injunction against planting the seeds.
Shares of Monsanto were up 0.4 percent at $50.57 in morning trading.