Update on Roundup Ready alfalfa legal issues

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

The United States District Court in Northern California has ruled that until a formal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is prepared by the USDA- Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS), no additional plantings of glyphosate resistant alfalfa can be made. Furthermore, current stands of glyphosate-resistant alfalfa will have to follow new guidelines to minimize the risk of pollen movement into non-resistant conventional and organic alfalfa stands. These guidelines are currently being developed by APHIS, with the help of Monsanto and Forage Genetics, inventors of this technology. On Monsanto’s website, (www.monsanto.com) the company indicates that the American Farm Bureau Federation has filed a “friend-of-the-court” legal brief asking the court to allow new plantings of glyphosate-resistant alfalfa under more stringent guidelines presented to the court by APHIS. There has been no word on when this request will be ruled on.

For now, all glyphosate-resistant alfalfa that was seeded prior to March 30, 2007 is exempt from this ruling and can be harvested, sold and fed to animals. The new production guidelines are to be in place in the next 30 days and as these become available, we will pass them along to you.

More information about this can be found at Monsanto’s website, monsanto.com. The most recent court filings on glyphosate-resistant alfalfa can be found on the MSU Weed Science website, www.msuweeds.com.

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