In 2007, a San Francisco District Court ruled that the government needed to complete an environmental impact study of the use of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa seeds before they could be sold. That sounds like common sense to me. Does it sound like common sense to you?
Common sense or not, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the district court “abused its discretion” in 2007 and overturned the lower court's decision. This is the Supreme Court’s first time making a decision in a case about genetically modified organisms (GMO), and environmentalists aren’t taking the decision lightly.
What is a Roundup Ready seed? It’s a seed that has been genetically modified to be resistant to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. The weed killer can be applied generously right onto crops, killing weeds and other plant life without harming the GMO crop.
According to Source Watch the weeds are adapting and some are saying that heavy use of Roundup is creating superweeds. Over time, farmers who plant other Roundup Ready GMO crops like soybeans are finding that the weeds are resisting the herbicide. They need to use more than the recommended amount to create the desired effect. The more herbicide that’s used, the more that can make its way into our food and groundwater.
There is also the problem of cross-contamination. When the winds blow seeds from one farm to another, a farmer that consciously chooses not to use GMO seeds could end up getting the seeds mixed in with his crops.
Businessweek reports that no planting of the GM alfalfa seeds can happen until the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service take action. Until the USDA re-authorizes a limited planting of the seeds and releases guidelines for the use of the seeds, no planting can be done.
Are you concerned about consuming food from GM seeds? There’s a simple way to tell at the grocery store if the produce you’re about to buy was genetically modified — look at the sticker. If the number on the sticker begins with the number 8 and contains five digits in total, the product was genetically modified and could also have been grown using chemical products.
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