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The Houston Chronicle reports that US District Court Judge Charles Breyer has ruled that farmers cannot plant genetically engineered alfalfa until the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) completes a study of how the product might impact both organic and mainstream varieties.

The ruling amounts to a permanent ban that builds on a temporary order issued by Breyer earlier this year, and it grew out of a lawsuit filed earlier this year by the Center for Food Safety arguing that the GM variety would contaminate other kinds of alfalfa.

According to the Chronicle, “Monsanto Co., the St. Louis-based biotech company that developed the crop and makes the weed killer, and Forage Genetics International, which is licensed to sell it, argued that the alfalfa would actually benefit the environment because fewer weed killers would be used.”
KC's View:
While we have no personal bias against genetically modified products, we do think that it seems reasonable to make sure that the impact on the environment and non-GM products won’t be permanent. After all, if mistakes are made, the problems won’t just be financial for the farmers of conventional products. It will have a larger impact on the planet.