Saturday, August 14, 2010

Court ruling may keep sugar-beet growers from planting genetically modified crops next year

A federal judge struck down the Department of Agriculture's approval of genetically modified sugar beets yesterday, posing potential problems for growers. The decision by District Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco "appears to effectively ban the planting of the genetically modified sugar beets, which make up about 95 percent of the crop, until the Agriculture Department prepares an environmental impact statement and approves the crop again, a process that might take a couple of years," Andrew Pollack reports for The New York Times.
"In the past the sugar industry has warned there might not be enough non-engineered seeds available. However, the judge ruled that crops currently in the ground can be harvested and made into sugar, so the effects will not be felt until next spring’s planting season. Beets supply about half the nation’s sugar," Pollack notes. The ruling came in a lawsuit by the Center for Food Safety, which opposed genetically engineered crops. (Read more)

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