Monsanto's Roundup-Ready Alfalfa = Goodbye Organic Beef and Dairy, Says New Lawsuit

Mar 24, 2011 at 10:35 am
click to enlarge Will Roundup-Ready alfalfa render natural alfalfa extinct? - Image via
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Will Roundup-Ready alfalfa render natural alfalfa extinct?
Environmental groups and organic farmers alike have slapped the USDA with a lawsuit for its greenlighting of Monsanto's Roundup-Ready alfalfa grass earlier this year.

The plaintiffs -- which include the Center for Food Safety and the Sierra Club, along with various alliances of organic farmers -- seem to be operating on the following syllogism:

  • In order to resist Roundup, Monsanto's powerful pesticide, the company's alfalfa grass has been genetically modified.
  • Alfalfa is notorious for cross-pollinating across long distances, so eventually, all alfalfa will have Monsanto DNA, i.e., it will be genetically modified.
  • Alfalfa is a major food source for cattle.
  • If cattle eat genetically modified alfalfa, the meat and dairy they produce can no longer be "organic."
  • Therefore, organic meat and dairy are in great peril.

Read the full lawsuit below. And, for those seeking more background, back in February, HuffPo did a good job explaining the viewpoints of the pro-organic folks and the farmers who want to make some $$$).
Center for Food Safety et al v. Vilsack et al