ChewsWise Blog

ChewsWise Blog

GMOs Lose in Recent Court Rulings

In two recent court decisions, genetically modified crops suffered defeat.

On Monday,the European Patent Office revoked Monsanto's patent for genetically engineered soybeans, ending a 13-year battle. The ETC Group, which bought the law suit, said:

The patent was vigorously and formally opposed by Monsanto itself until the company purchased the original patent assignee (Agracetus) in 1996. The technology related to the now-revoked patent has been used, along with other patents in the company’s portfolio, to corner 90% of the world’s GM soybean market.

In a second decision last week, a federal court in San Francisco ruled that the USDA's approval of Monsanto's genetically engineered alfalfa was illegal. The judge ordered the USDA to ban any further planting of the seed until it carried out an Environmental Impact Statement.

The court's fear was that the alfalfa would spread to non-GMO fields (just as occurred in the past year with GMO rice). The locations of all the GMO alfalfa fields must now be disclosed so that growers of organic and conventional alfalfa “can test their own crops to determine if there has been contamination,” according to the Center for Food Safety, which brought the suit.