Ban sought on gene-altered crops on federal land

August 11, 2011 - 3:45 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Three environmental groups are suing to block planting of genetically-engineered crops on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service land in eight Southern states.

The lawsuit filed Thursday claims federal officials didn't properly assess the potential impact of growing the crops on protected lands. The groups want a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to order an injunction to halt planting.

But the Fish and Wildlife Service says the 44,000 acres of plantings are in strategic areas to feed waterfowl and other birds along migration routes. Farmers have to leave a quarter of the crop on the ground.

The suit claims the farming encourages weed growth and harms wildlife.

The refuges targeted in the suit are in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.