Not Like a Sporting Event at All

Alfalfa HayUnlike all ball games, judicial rulings are sometimes claimed as victories by both sides. This just happened with a Supreme Court ruling on chemical giant Monsanto’s genetically modified alfalfa crop. (FYI, alfalfa is a $9-billion sector in the US).

In a Grist article, Tom Laskawy pointed out: “Despite the news reports claiming victory for Monsanto, the Supreme Court did not overturn the central tenet of the case: that the USDA prematurely approved Roundup Ready alfalfa… More importantly, the Supreme Court has also now ruled for the very time that ‘environmental harm’ includes economic effects such as reduced agriculture yield or loss of market due to genetic contamination.”

“That’s a huge win for our side… That’s gigantic!” Michael Hansen, senior staff scientist of Consumers Union, told me. Future lawsuits can now confidently use the gene-flow argument against approval and use of genetically engineered crops. Other share his glee. The Center for Food Safety called the ruling “a victory for the Center for Food Safety and the farmers and consumers it represents.”

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