Genetically modified sugar beets gets thumbs-down

Genetically modified sugar beets gets thumbs-down

Genetically modified sugar beets gets thumbs-down

Genetically modified sugar beets gets thumbs-down - Clermont Ferrand. France Wikipedia

Judge Jeffrey White, of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, has overturned government approval for genetically modified sugar beet production. The judge said in his decision that the Department of Agriculture had not shown adequate proof that the genetically engineered crop will not cause environmental harm.

The suit to halt the growth of what are now known as biotech crops was filed by a Washington advocacy group, the Center for Food Safety. The group had asked for an immediate ban but the judge said that it would be too hard on the farmers to ban the modified beets this year but that they must move to standard, non-modified seeds next year.

Since sugar beets provide close to 50% of the country’s sugar and almost 95% of the seeds used currently are genetically engineered, there is some concern over the effects of this decision on both the farmers and the price and supply of sugar in coming years.

In an earlier ruling in the case, Judge White expressed concerns that the government had not addressed the possible consequences of the genetic modifications transferring from the engineered sugar beets to related crops.

Authored by: Richard Lee

Richard has been traveling since he took a year off from college, where he was doing a BA in Journalism. He traveled half the world, backpacking with his girlfriend (now his wife). They spent time in South America, Asia, Greece and much of Europe. After writing about his experiences for several airline and travel magazines, he never went back to college.