Farm Press Blog

Costly RR alfalfa legal travesty finally coming to end


The four-year legal charade perpatrated by radical environmentalists is about over. If the governent gets a bill for legal services; shred it. The Supreme Court said so by a vote of 7-1.

The lawsuit by the wacko environmentalists to halt the sale of glyphosate-resistant alfalfa four years ago did not make sense then. It makes me angry now.

I would hope someone would challenge any government payment to the Center for the Rejection of Advancements of the Populace (you figure out the acronym) for their frivolous lawsuit that has needlessly cost farmers, dairymen, consumers and Americans literally millions of dollars.

It finally looks like the evolutionary advancement in forage production will be back on the market this spring. The long-delayed Environmental Impact Statement is due out soon. It should open the door for Roundup Ready Alflafa seed sales this spring.

The Supreme Court said this wacko bunch’s avowed claim to keep it off the market was ludicrous, by a vote of 7-1. That alone should tell you any legal bills turned into the government by the so-called consumer watchdog group should be put through the shredder.

Like I have said before, bills should be sent to this societal fringe group for the lost production. How much? Let’s add it up. Let’s assume the harassment lawsuit prevented just 1 million acres of Roundup Ready Alfalfa from being planted. Those fortunate farmers who did plant the 250,000 before sales were halted say the new biotech crop produced almost 1 ton more per acre of alfalfa production. Multiply that across 1 million acres over four years. If I have my zeros counted correctly, that’s $400 million, based on $100 per ton. Add up the stand replacement costs of 1 million acres, and I run out of zeros. That is just for starters. What about the cost of milk production?

Gene flow to organic alfalfa? That was the most preposterous argument of the whole mess. If the farmers are so convinced of damaging gene flow from RR alfalfa to their organic fields, then someone ought to sue them for the same perceived gene flow from their brown-bag seed fields to proprietary insect and disease resistant conventional alfalfa varieties. I would not want their junk in my proprietary alfalfa seed field.

There has been no evidence whatsoever that RR alfalfa seed fields have spiked any organic fields during the past four or more years RR alfalfa seed has been produced. If bees had carried the Frankenseed to organic fields, the brown baggers would have benefitted.

The process has dragged on far too long. It has been very expensive and pointless. However, let’s hope that the Supreme Court decision to reject the claim and the USDA/APHIS process to write the Environmental Impact Statement has sent a clear signal that any more of this nonsense will be useless. Well, we can at least hope that once someone has been shown the door, they will get the hint.

The issue is not about Roundup Ready alfalfa. It is all about a group of misguided people halting societal advancement.

Wish someone would convince the center for goofballs of that by red-lining taxpayer payments to this parasitic bunch.

Discuss this Blog Entry 1

Anonymous (not verified)
on Nov 29, 2010

Well, a few weeks ago some of the same folks forced USDA to stop the planting of RR sugar beets that the industry has been using since about 2005. The problem is the industry has converted almost entirely to RR seed and considering the seed development/production time line, there is a significant concern as to whether there will be non RR seed to plant. So the insanity goes on.

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