Judge upholds GMO lawsuit
BY AP Wire Service
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
10/24/12 at 1:59 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge sided on Tuesday with environmental groups that challenged the planting of genetically modified crops on National Wildlife Refuges in the South.
U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg rejected the federal government's argument that the environmental groups' lawsuit was moot because the Fish and Wildlife Service had already agreed to stop the practice after this year.
"Plaintiffs allege harms that are currently occurring and will continue throughout 2012," wrote Boasberg, an appointee of President Barack Obama. "Waiting for 2013 is not good enough." He set a hearing for Nov. 5 to determine appropriate relief but also encouraged both sides to meet to see if they could agree on at least some remedies.
In their lawsuit last year, the Center for Food Safety and two other groups argued that the Fish and Wildlife Service violated environmental laws in allowing genetically modified crops in the agency's Southeast Region, which encompasses 10 states. The groups claimed the practice has harmful environmental impacts. The most common genetically modified crops planted were corn and soybeans resistant to the herbicide Roundup.
The government responded in a filing that the practice will not be allowed after the end of the 2012 growing season until the region completes an appropriate environmental analysis.