© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

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

Flickr CC Sam Beebe-Ecotrust.jpg
Alfalfa fields in Idaho. (Flickr Creative Commons user Sam Beebe/Ecotrust)

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.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.