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Federal Judge Orders Destruction Of Illegal GE Sugar Beet Seedlings

November 30, 2010: 08:43 AM EST

A federal district judge who found that hundreds of acres of genetically engineered (GE) sugar beet seedlings had been planted in September in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act has ordered their destruction. Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety had filed a suit on behalf of farmers, consumers, and conservation groups shortly after the USDA acknowledged it had allowed the plantings without the required impact analysis. Noting that containment efforts were insufficient, the judge said past contamination incidents were “too numerous” to allow the illegal crop to remain in the ground. He also outlined the many ways in which GE sugar beets could harm the environment and consumers. According to the judge, “farmers and consumers would likely suffer harm from cross-contamination” between GE sugar beets and non-GE crops.

"Federal Court Orders First-Ever Destruction of a GMO Crop, Orders Removal of Genetically Engineered Sugar Beet Seed Crop", News release, Center for Food Safety, November 30, 2010, © Center for Food Safety
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