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USDA Erred In Approving GM Sugar Beets Without Assessing Environmental Impact

August 13, 2010: 10:02 AM EST
Stating that the USDA had not sufficiently evaluated environmental costs before okaying genetically engineered sugar beets for commercial farming, a federal judge has rescinded the government’s approval. The ruling, which will probably cause major problems for sugar beet farmers and sugar processors next spring, may ban 95 percent of sugar beet planting until the agency comes up with an environmental impact statement and re-launches the multi-year approval process. Crops in the ground now can be harvested and processed into sugar, the judge said. The judge’s ruling came in a lawsuit organized by the biotech foods watchdog Center for Food Safety. U.S. sugar supplies come equally from sugar beets and sugar cane. The value of the sugar beet crop in 2007-8 crop was about $1.3 billion.
ANDREW POLLACK, "Judge Revokes Approval of Modified Sugar Beets", NYtimes, August 13, 2010, © The New York Times Company
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