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Alfalfa and the GE battle continues

March 18, 2011: Attorneys for the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Earthjustice filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), arguing that the agency's recent unrestricted approval of genetically engineered (GE) "Roundup Ready" Alfalfa was unlawful. The GE crop is engineered to be immune to the herbicide glyphosate, which Monsanto markets as Roundup. With the full deregulation of GE alfalfa, USDA estimates that up to 23 million more pounds of toxic herbicides will be released into the environment each year.

“Approving the unrestricted planting of GE alfalfa is a blatant case of the USDA serving one form of agriculture at the expense of all others,” says plaintiff Ed Maltby, Executive Director of the Northeast Alliance of Organic Dairy Producers.  “If this decision is not remedied, the result will be lost livelihoods for organic dairy farmers, loss of choice for farmers and consumers, and no transparency about GE contamination of our foods.” For more information, please click here to download a PDF document.

March 29, 2011: On behalf of 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations, the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed suit against Monsanto Company to challenge the chemical giant's patents on genetically modified seed.  The organic plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified seed, something Monsanto has done to others in the past.

Ed Maltby, Executive Director of plaintiff Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) said, “It's outrageous that we find ourselves in a situation where the financial burden of GE contamination will fall on family farmers who have not asked for or contributed to the growth of GE crops.  Family farmers will face contamination of their crops by GE seed which will threaten their ability to sell crops as organically certified or into the rapidly growing 'Buy Local' market where consumers have overwhelmingly declared they do not want any GE crops, and then family farmers may be faced by a lawsuit by Monsanto for patent infringement.  We take this action to protect family farms, who once again have to bear the consequences of irresponsible actions by Monsanto.” For more information please go to:

http://www.pubpat.org/osgatavmonsantofiled.htm

There continues to be universal condemnation of the USDA decision and many organizations are working together to develop strategies and tactics to turn back the GE tide that will deny consumers and farmers the choice of what to eat and how to farm. More news, facts and resources can be found at the following websites: