The sustainable agriculture world is abuzz today with news of the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding an earlier lawsuit, brought by alfalfa farmers, that sought to stop any planting of Monsanto’s genetically engineered Roundup Ready alfalfa seed. While the press coverage heralds the ruling as a decisive victory for Monsanto, a close reading shows that, in fact, it’s a fairly significant win for opponents of biotech crops. Read more
The Center for Food Safety today celebrated the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Monsanto v. Geerston Farms, the first genetically modified crop case ever brought before the Supreme Court. Although the High Court decision reverses parts of the lower courts’ rulings, the judgment holds that a vacatur bars the planting of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Alfalfa until and unless future deregulation occurs. It is a victory for the Center for Food Safety and the Farmers and Consumers it represents. Read more
At last, some thorough reporting on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the mainstream media. Reuters reporter Carey Gillam takes a look at the weaknesses in the US regulatory framework for GMOs, and the resulting blockade against independent research, and thus gives context to the current consumer backlash to GMOs worldwide. Read more
In a ruling yesterday, the Supreme Court rolled back campaign finance laws to the pre-Watergate era:
Sweeping aside a century-old understanding and overruling two important precedents, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.
The ruling was a vindication, the majority said, of the First Amendment’s most basic free speech principle — that the government has no business regulating political speech. The dissenters said allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace will corrupt democracy.
The 5-to-4 decision was a doctrinal earthquake but also a political and practical one. Specialists in campaign finance law said they expected the decision, which also applies to labor unions and other organizations, to reshape the way elections are conducted.
I’ll say. Corporations will now be able to run ads supporting or opposing particular candidates up until the day before an election. While unions will likely gain the same right, they have never been able to spend more than a fraction of what large corporations typically do in an election year. Read more