In 2006, The Center For Food Safety (CFS) sued Monsanto on behalf of growers who wished to plant non-GE alfalfa. The court ruled in favor of CFS and deemed GE alfalfa to be illegal. When Monsanto appealed, they were overruled twice. Upon Monsanto’s insistence, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.
This is the first time the Supreme Court will hear a GE crop case. Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475 will be a landmark case the ruling will have great implications for the future of GE agriculture.
What’s the big deal with GE Alfalfa? For starters, alfalfa is a cross pollenating perennial. There is absolutely no way to keep the GE genes confined to one field. Bees and wind could carry the pollen from GE plants several miles, posing contamination risks to farmers who are growing non-GE or organic alfalfa. This one Monsanto crop has the potential to contaminate the entire US supply. Since alfalfa is the fourth most common crop in America, that’s a huge risk. These are not just the sprouts you add to your sandwich, alfalfa is a major component of cattle feed. That means your milk and beef could be affected by the use of GE crops.