Lawsuit challenges genetically modified alfalfa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lawsuit challenges genetically modified alfalfa

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DES MOINES -- A lawsuit filed in California challenges the federal government's deregulation of genetically altered alfalfa. The plant has been engineered to withstand the popular weed killer Roundup.

Attorneys for the Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice filed the federal lawsuit Friday in San Francisco. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's approved the use of Roundup Ready alfalfa in January.

Attorneys for the groups say the USDA  has failed to provide adequate oversight of biotech alfalfa. They are concerned that the altered alfalfa will cross-pollinate with organic alfalfa and overpower the crop. There are still concerns that the bio engineered crop could pose health risks to humans as well. 

A federal court barred the planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa in 2007. The U.S. Supreme Court lifted the ban last year.

USDA officials say they are reviewing the lawsuit.

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