Suits on Biotech Rules Dismissed

WASHINGTON—Six months after the federal government published its set of proposed regulations governing biotechnology, two lawsuits aimed at overturning those regulations have failed. On December 22 Judge Gerhard A. Gesell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a suit filed by environmental activist Jeremy Rifkin that sought to overturn the June 26 announcement on the grounds that it bypassed established federal rulemaking procedures. The same day, Gesell dismisse

Gregory Byrne
Jan 25, 1987
WASHINGTON—Six months after the federal government published its set of proposed regulations governing biotechnology, two lawsuits aimed at overturning those regulations have failed.

On December 22 Judge Gerhard A. Gesell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a suit filed by environmental activist Jeremy Rifkin that sought to overturn the June 26 announcement on the grounds that it bypassed established federal rulemaking procedures.

The same day, Gesell dismissed as premature a separate suit brought by Rifkin to force the Environmental Protection Agency to require that agencies licensed to release genetically engineered materials into the environment be financially able to undo any damage done. Gesell ruled that Rifkin had shown no specific injury caused by the rules and that Rifkin had not established his legal standing to sue in the case.

Despite the suit's allegations, federal agencies had not adopted the rules, Judge Gesell said. "While the...