Farm Press Blog

Facts distorted again in second RR alfalfa lawsuit

RSS
  • Radicals making second try to stop RR alfalfa after first attempt failed.
  • Lawsuit claims herbicide load will be 13 to 14 million pounds of chemicals on 1.4 million acres.
  • Scare tactics tried to keep growers from buying GMO alfalfa.

As expected, the Center for Food Safety (CFS), along with a similar radical group, Earthjustice, has filed another lawsuit to try a second time to stop sales of Roundup Ready alfalfa planting seed.

They lost the first one in court and at USDA. RR alfalfa varieties are now being marketed nationwide.

The filing came with the typical fact-twisting hyperbolic news releases from CFS and quotes from its nefarious leaders.

It is interesting to dissect the so-called facts of the releases.

For example, CFS says that 93 percent of the alfalfa planted by U.S. farmers is grown without any herbicides, yet the unregulated release of RR alfalfa will put up to “23 million more pounds of toxic herbicides” into the environment.

What? If 93 percent of U.S. alfalfa is not treated with herbicides, as CFS states, then the market for RR alfalfa is only 7 percent of the 20 million acres of alfalfa in the U.S. or about 1.4 million acres. Why would a farmer who did not apply herbicides before, buy an herbicide-resistant alfalfa variety? That means CFS believes 23 million pounds of herbicides will be applied to 1.4 million acres. That is some herbicide bill.

Andrew Kimbrell, CFS executive director, called the unregulated approval of RR alfalfa by USDA “reckless.”  The irony of that statement is the scrutiny of GMO alfalfa was unprecedented by the federal government and forced by CFS. CFS got the Environmental Impact Statement it wanted, but it did not like the results and is now whining and filing more lawsuits.

Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff once again revealed the real target of its pseudo environmental case, Monsanto, with his statement, “We expect Monsanto to force-feed people genetically engineered crops - that's its business model.”

According to the news release, organic dairies stand to lose their source of organic feed. If a dairy — organic or otherwise — is feeding corn, soybeans or cottonseed, it already feeding GMO crops to animals since virtually 100 percent of those crops are genetically modified.

And of course CFS is looking out for the well-being of farmers. Andrew’s brother, George, a CFS staff attorney, warned growers RR alfalfa “continues to be under a legal cloud.” A second lawsuit just like the failed first one is hardly a legal cloud.

He says growers should be aware that new litigation has been filed and “the legality of this crop remains in question.” There is no question in the mind of the federal government, which approved the unregulated release of RR alfalfa. I doubt the courts will go along with this newest complaint.

It was previously “banned for four-plus years by court order,” he proclaims. It was not banned; it was stranded in bureaucratic purgatory thanks to the harassment lawsuit filed by CFS. More than 250,000 acres growing in the U.S. for the past four years hardly qualifies as a ban.

Yes, the first case went to the Supreme Court, as CFS likes to point out, where the high court threw out the lawsuit by a 7-1 vote.

CFS attorney George Kimberly tried to scare farmers away from buying RR alfalfa varieties for spring planting by saying, “If producers move forward despite having notice of ongoing and longstanding legal questions, then that’s an assumed risk and an issue of contract that they can raise with Monsanto and whoever else they buy their GE (genetically engineered) seed from.”

The first lawsuit did not scare off 5,000 growers who planted more than 250,000 acres with the first CFS suit. I doubt new customers will quiver in their boots this time. In all likelihood, growers will move quicker to get seed in the barn for spring or even fall planting on the chance CFS gets some dimwitted judge to go along with another harassing lawsuit. Thanks for the sales boost, George.

Discuss this Blog Entry 0

Post new comment
or to use your Western Farm Press ID
What's Farm Press Blog?

The Farm Press Daily Blog

Connect With Us

Blog Archive
Continuing Education Courses
New Course
California is becoming the first state in the nation to invoke regulations to reduce Volatile...
New Course
Ant control is an important element of harvesting a high quality almond crop. It starts with...
This accredited CE course focuses on choosing the correct variety alfalfa based on a number of...

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×