Washington, D.C. (October 7, 2011) – In a case brought against USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) by a coalition of environmental groups regarding field trials of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has denied the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and granted the summary judgment motions for the government, ArborGen, and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).
BIO and ArborGen, developer of the GE eucalyptus trees and a BIO member, acted as defendant-interveners in the case to assist the government in its defense against false allegations that USDA did not adequately prepare an environmental review before allowing the company's field trials to move forward.
Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement in response to the judge’s ruling:
“BIO applauds the decision of Judge K. Michael Moore that provides judicial affirmation that APHIS is doing an outstanding job of being diligent and responsible with its regulatory authority.
“The biotechnology sector has been plagued by a series of lawsuits aimed at eliminating or inhibiting the use of biotechnology in agricultural products, and this case was aimed at the use of science and technology in agriculture, energy development and forestry. These types of negative actions only serve to hinder investment and create barriers to economic growth for innovation in the United States.
“Our national economy is suffering, and now more than ever, we need to support the businesses and innovations that create jobs and bring beneficial technologies to the marketplace.
“Agricultural biotechnology allows growers to produce more food, energy and fiber on less land, often with significant environmental benefits. We need to support – not impede – the benefits that biotechnology can provide to the crops, plants, trees and animals that help to feed, fuel and heal our world.”