The far reaches of Antarctica are no longer visited only by scientists and their support staff. Adventure tourists and curiosity seekers from Europe, North America and beyond now come by the boatful — and they’re bringing some souvenirs from home. Ecologist Steven Chown tells Robert Siegel that visitors unknowingly carry seeds on their clothes and bags. He says they’ve helped spread dozens of invasive plant species on the continent and risk permanently changing Antarctica’s ecology.
The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and several other plaintiff growers do not use Monsanto seeds, but had hoped that the federal judge would agree that Monsanto should not be allowed to sue them if pollen from the company’s patented crops happened to drift into their fields.