The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Monsanto Monday in a case involving genetically altered alfalfa seeds that are Roundup Ready. The Supreme Court, voting 7-1, overturned a lower court ruling that had barred the use of the Monsanto seed. The high court’s ruling doesn’t immediately allow the use of the genetically modified seed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has yet to okay use of the seed.
This was the high court’s first decision involving genetically altered crops, according to the Wall Street Journal. Those opposed to the Monsanto product said use of the seed could contaminate non-GMO alfalfa. The Supreme Court said a total band was too broad.
Justice John Paul Stevens dissented from the majority.
The New York Times notes that this decision could affect a Monsanto brand of Roundup Ready sugar beer. A federal judge has said he may bar the use of the sugar beet seed until a full environmental review is accomplished. A hearing on the sugar beet case is scheduled for July.
The Wall Street Journal said that it “appears likely that the Agriculture Department will again clear farmers to plant Roundup Ready alfalfa.” The USDA’s draft environmental impact statement recommended that farmers be allowed to use the new seed. A final action on alfalfa is expected next spring.