[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[SANET-MG] GM alfalfa approval ruled illegal flouted the law
The US promotes itself throughout the world as a model of GM crop
regulation, but the judgements of its own judiciary tell a very different story.
This latest judgement that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) violated
the law by failing to adequately assess possible environmental impacts before
approving Monsanto's GM alfalfa, follows on from the US federal district
judge who earlier this month ruled that the USDA must halt approval of all new
field trials until more rigorous environmental reviews are conducted. That
ruling resulted from the USDA's illegal approvals of field trials of herbicide
tolerant GM bentgrass.
Late last year another federal district judge ruled that the USDA flouted
both the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act by not
conducting preliminary environmental reviews before permitting the cultivation
of drug-producing GM crops throughout Hawaii. US District Judge Michael
Seabright also called USDA's regulatory heedlessness "arbitrary and capricious"
and "an unequivocal violation of a clear congressional mandate."
Even the USDA's own Office of Inspector General's audit found numerous holes
in its regulatory oversight in its December 2005 report. It warned that the
USDA lacks "basic information about the field test sites it approves and is
responsible for monitoring, including where and how the crops are being grown
and what becomes of them at the end of the field test." This was the case
even for crops involving the production of potent pharmaceuticals.
The audit also found that the USDA was not even requiring companies to
provide site location information. The government did not require companies to
document efforts to make sure GMO crops were segregated, and it didn't test
neighboring fields to look for contamination during or after field trials.
Overall, the regulatory system was found to be so weak that it increased the risk
that experimental GMO crops would "persist in the environment."
The GM rice contamination fiasco is certainly testament to that. But, even
though its own Inspector General's report declared "Current (USDA)
regulations, policies and procedures do not go far enough to ensure the safe
introduction of agricultural biotechnology," the USDA has been working flat out with
USAID to shape biosafety regulations around the world.
US judge challenges Monsanto seed approval: NYT
Reuters, February 14 2006
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Agriculture
Department violated the law by failing to adequately assess possible
environmental impacts before approving genetically-engineered alfalfa from Monsanto, the
New York Times said on Wednesday.
The ruling, given on Tuesday by Judge Charles Breyer of the District Court
in San Francisco, said the agency had been "cavalier" in deciding that a full
environmental impact statement was not needed because the potential
environmental and economic effects of the crop were not significant, the paper said.
The judge asked the plaintiffs, some alfalfa seed companies and
environmental and farm advocacy groups, and the defendant, the Agriculture Dept., to meet
and propose remedies to him by February 26, the paper said.
Monsanto was not named in the suit, the paper said. No one at the company
could immediately be reached for comment.
To unsubscribe from SANET-MG:
1- Visit http://lists.sare.org/archives/sanet-mg.html to unsubscribe or;
2- Send a message to <firstname.lastname@example.org> from the address subscribed to the list. Type "unsubscribe sanet-mg" in the body of the message.
Visit the SANET-MG archives at: http://lists.sare.org/archives/sanet-mg.html.
Questions? Visit http://www.sare.org/about/sanetFAQ.htm.
For more information on grants and other resources available through the SARE program, please visit http://www.sare.org.