Iowa Public Television


Judge Rules Biotech Sites Must Be Revealed

posted on August 6, 2004

A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Department of Agriculture to identify where four companies are performing open-field testing of genetically modified crops in Hawaii.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra this week said the government must reveal to the environmental watchdog group Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit group that tracks food production technologies.

The groups sued the government in November, alleging that the agency has failed to properly regulate genetically engineered crops.

The government and the biotech industry argued that public disclosure of the sites could lead to crop vandalism and corporate espionage of trade secrets.

Ezra gave USDA 90 days to prove that releasing the site of the locations to the public would cause irreparable damage to the biotech industry.

Tags: agriculture biotechnology courts crops food safety genetic engineering judges news