The New York Times reports on a complaint filed by academic researchers who say that biotech companies are preventing them from "fully researching the effectiveness and environmental impact of the industry's genetically modified crops," the article says. (You can also check out the statement they submitted to EPA.) "The problem, the scientists say, is that farmers and other buyers of genetically engineered seeds have to sign an agreement meant to ensure that growers honor company patent rights and environmental regulations. But the agreements also prohibit growing the crops for research purposes," the story says.
According to the Times, EPA will be holding scientific meetings on biotech crops this week, and is looking for public comment on this topic.
Stephen Albainy-Jenei at Patent Baristas blogs about the issue as well, noting that while scientists looking to study these crops "can ask for permission from the seed companies, permission is sometimes denied or the company insists on the right to have an advance review of the studies' results before they can be published."