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Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack

ELR Citation: 40 ELR 20034
Nos. No. C 10-04038 JSW, (N.D. Cal., 11/30/2010)

A district court issued a preliminary injunction ordering genetically modified sugar beet seedlingscalled stecklingsthat were planted by four seed companies pursuant to permits issued by the USDA to be removed from the ground. Plaintiffs have made a strong showing that they and the environment are likely to suffer irreparable harm if the court does not issue an injunction. The evidence clearly demonstrates that, even with the existence of protocols designed to minimize any environmental harm, there is a significant risk that the plantings will cause environmental harm. Plaintiffs have further demonstrated a likelihood of harm stemming from the entire cycle of genetically engineered sugar beet plantings and production. Moreover, the likely environmental harm is irreparable. Plaintiffs also demonstrated significant procedural injury stemming from the USDA's NEPA violations. In addition, the balance of hardships between the parties and the public interest tips sharply in favor of plaintiffs and in favor of issuing an injunction.