Civil Eats - Supreme Court to Hear First GE Crop Case:
"The case began in 2006 when the Center for Food Safety (CFS) sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) on behalf of a coalition alfalfa conventional and organic farmers and environmental organizations over USDA’s approval of Monsanto’s GE “Roundup Ready” alfalfa, engineered to withstand repeated dousing of Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. Farmers and environmental advocates raised alarm about the unintended spread of Monsanto’s patented variety and transgenic contamination of natural alfalfa given that alfalfa is pollinated by bees that can fly many miles distance.
In 2007 a federal district court agreed with CFS, holding that USDA had illegally approved the GE alfalfa and stopped any further planting until USDA complied with environmental laws. Monsanto, who had intervened in the case, appealed the ruling, but a federal Court of Appeals agreed with CFS, first in 2008 and then again in 2009.
Now, Monsanto has taken their case to the only court left—the U.S. Supreme Court. Monsanto was able to get the Court to take the case over the objection of both CFS and USDA. The Court only hears about 80 cases a year out of around 8,000 attempts. Here’s the point Monsanto wants addressed: although it is undisputed that USDA violated environmental laws and that the agency must rigorously analyze the crop’s impacts if it is to again approve it for sale, Monsanto is arguing that the lower courts should have allowed the planting of the now-illegal crop to go forward anyway, before the agency did its homework All lower courts agreed that the planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa should halt because of the unknown and potentially harmful impacts of the crop on farmers’ livelihoods and the environment."
So what Monsanto is implying, and indeed have said explicitly before, is that they should be able to plant whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want until the USDA can prove what they have planted is not safe. The Supreme Court thinks they have a point otherwise why take the case? Why hasn't Clarence Thomas, former Monsanto lawyer, recused himself from this? Do not be surprised if Monsanto wins this one. They are the Enron of chemical companies. Only this time it is our food supply that is at risk.