USDA: Monsanto’s genetically-engineered alfalfa is safe to plant (but maybe not everywhere)

Dec 17, 2010

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa is safe to plant but may need some restrictions.

The alfalfa has been genetically-engineered to tolerate the herbicide glyphosate, known commercially as Roundup.

In its final environmental impact statement for the crop, USDA proposes two options: either allow commercial planting with no restrictions, or limit where the alfalfa can be grown.

USDA initially approved Monsanto’s alfalfa seed with no restrictions in 2005, but was forced to reconsider its decision when environmental groups sued over concerns the genetically-engineered crop could contaminate organic fields.

The agency will issue its final decision early next year.