The Center for Food Safety (CFS) is suing the Department of Agriculture for years of withholding safety information regarding GMO crops. According to the CFS, the Department of Agriculture has been violating the Freedom of Information Act for over thirteen years.
Cristina Stella, staff attorney for the Center for Food Safety said this about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
“APHIS has a track record of irresponsible and inadequate regulation of GE crops. In the absence of thorough government oversight, public access to information about these crops becomes all the more critical. This lawsuit is necessary to stop APHIS from continuing to ignore.”
Under the current agricultural regulations, experimental field trials of GE crops have repeatedly been found to escape containment, and APHIS has refused to do its job to make sure that GMO cross-contamination does not occur.
Stella explains further:
“The longer APHIS fails to use its full authority to regulate the environmental and agricultural harms from GE crops, such as transgenic contamination of nearby crops, pesticide drift, and endangerment of protected species, the more these harms will occur. CFS has been seeking information about these harms for over ten years—and for over ten years, APHIS has continually ignored our requests. It cannot continue to do so.”
This is the fourth time CFS has had to sue APHIS to compel compliance with FOIA, and this is reportedly the most extensive challenge to APHIS’s pattern of unreasonable delays to date.
Lawsuit Claim Filed: Plaintiff’s requests that pertain to APHIS’s oversight of GE crops, unlawfully and unreasonably delaying responses, and withholding public disclosure of information sought by Plaintiff. View the actual filing document here.