In January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced that it would “fully deregulate” the planting of alfalfa that has been genetically engineered to tolerate Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. The USDA based its decision, in part, on a risk assessment that showed that this Roundup Ready Alfalfa (RRA) posed no harmful effects to human health or the safety of the plant agricultural system.
The USDA’s decision follows years of agency and judicial proceedings. In June of last year, the Supreme Court, in Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, finally cleared the way for the USDA decision to deregulate RRA. In Monsanto, the Court reversed a lower court’s injunction prohibiting the USDA from deregulating RRA.