USDA to deregulate Roundup Ready alfalfa

Agriculture Secretary: 'As safe as traditionally bred alfalfa'

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has decided to grant non-regulated status for alfalfa that has been genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide commercially known as Roundup.

“After conducting a thorough and transparent examination of alfalfa through a multi-alternative environmental impact statement and several public comment opportunities, APHIS has determined that Roundup Ready alfalfa is as safe as traditionally bred alfalfa,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The National Corn Growers Association praised the USDA’s decision. “Farmers need access to technology so that they can choose the option that is best for their farm,” said NCGA Chairman Darrin Ihnen. “Biotechnology can improve a farm’s efficiency and decrease the amount of chemical needed for that crop. We need choices to raise more food, feed, fiber and fuel for the world’s growing needs.”