Supreme Court to Hear First Case on Genetically Modified Crops

September 20, 2010

Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will take oral arguments in the case of Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, the first-ever Supreme Court case to be heard on genetically modified crops. Geertson Seed Farms, an Idaho-based alfalfa producer, filed a lawsuit in 2006 opposing the USDA...s approval of a pesticide-resistant alfalfa developed by agriculture company Monsanto (St. Louis), known as Roundup Ready Alfalfa (RRA).

Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will take oral arguments in the case of Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, the first-ever Supreme Court case to be heard on genetically modified crops.

Geertson Seed Farms, an Idaho-based alfalfa producer, filed a lawsuit in 2006 opposing the USDA...s approval of a pesticide-resistant alfalfa developed by agriculture company Monsanto (St. Louis), known as Roundup Ready Alfalfa (RRA).

Geertson Seed Farms contends that Monsanto...s RRA could pollinate in, and thus threaten the organic quality of neighboring, conventional alfalfa farms.

Monsanto, however, argues that the risk of cross-pollination with RRA is very small. 'Even in the unlikely event that cross-pollination does occur, it will not change the constitution of any existing alfalfa plant,' said Monsanto in a reply brief submitted to the Supreme Court earlier this month. 'The risk is only that a cross-pollinated plant will produce seeds that could grow into RRA plants. But those seeds, if unwanted, can be identified through inexpensive testing, and destroyed.'