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6-regulation: Greenpeace & organic farmers to continue legal challenge on GE crops



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GREENPEACE, ORGANIC FARMERS TO CONTINUE LEGAL CHALLENGE ON GENETICALLY
ENGINEERED CROPS

On July 21, federal judge Louis Oberdorfer granted a Greenpeace motion to
voluntarily withdraw its lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) on genetically engineered 'Bt' crops. Contrary to erroneous statements
released by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), no judgement was
issued against the Greenpeace claims nor did the court find the suit to be
lacking in merit.

According to Progressive Farmer magazine, BIO spokesperson, Michael Phillips,
fallaciously stated that Judge Oberdorfer dismissed the case 'with prejudice,'
and claimed this was the court's way of telling Greenpeace that its case "never
should have been brought to our attention in the first place." Both of Phillips'
statements are patently false.

The Facts. In January, Judge Oberdorfer ordered EPA to respond to the scientific
and legal questions raised by Greenpeace - clearly indicating that the court
found these concerns to be legitimate. The July 21 order states that all counts
except one "in the [Greenpeace] case are dismissed without prejudice." [emphasis
added] By agreeing to dismiss the case without prejudice, Greenpeace makes no
concessions regarding the adequacy of EPA's response or its registration
process. Since the Judge forced EPA to respond to Greenpeace's claims this
spring, Greenpeace agreed that one charge - that EPA's failure to respond caused
an 'unreasonable delay' - could be dismissed with prejudice.

Greenpeace is now preparing further legal steps in its battle to force EPA to
withdraw its approval of insect-resistant Bt crops. The environmental group and
its co-plaintiffs (who represent family farmers, organic growers, consumers and
environmentalists) are developing a series of legal actions against EPA for its
failure to adequately protect the environment from the threat of Bt crops.

'We will continue to challenge EPA's unwarranted and unscientific defense of Bt
crops as long as the agency refuses to take precautionary action to prevent harm
to the environment,' said Charles Margulis, Greenpeace genetic engineering
specialist. 'Consumers and growers need to know that organic food and the
environment won't be sold out for biotech industry profits.'

'Our legal action on this issue is continuing,' said Center for Food Safety's
Joseph Mendelson, lead attorney on the case. 'We are currently preparing, and
will file, several legal actions against EPA.'

Last year, BIO's Phillips became embroiled in scandal when he assembled a
National Academy of Sciences (NAS) committee for a report on Bt crops. The
make-up of the committee was criticized from the outset for being heavily
weighted with members who had direct and indirect ties to the biotech industry.
Later, a New York Times investigation found that Phillips had interviewed for
his position with BIO while he was serving as the coordinator of the NAS
Committee.

For more information:
Charles Margulis, 202-258-3029; Craig Culp, Greenpeace Media, 202-319-2461.


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Greenpeace International
Genetic Engineering Campaign
Chausseestr. 131 - 10115 Berlin - Germany
phone: +49.30.308899.14
fax: +49.30.308899.30
e-mail: barbara.kuepper@greenpeace.de
http://www.greenpeace.org/~geneng/