Can We Plant Biotech Beets?


Yesterday, the USDA unveiled plans to again approve genetically modified sugarbeets in time for planting next year.  This is a move that would void a recent federal court ruling that invalidated the original approval issued by the USDA five years ago.

The action was taken to address a request that came from Monsanto and another company for partial deregulation or some similar administrative action to allow the continued cultivation of Roundup Ready sugarbeets under carefully tailored interim measured proposed by APHIS.

This represents the preliminary stage of the process and will be followed by a 30-day comment period before the department makes a final decision.  That comment period is set to start November 4th when this is published to the federal register.  It will wrap up on December 6th.

As our region is set to wrap up the 2010 sugarbeet harvest this week, roughly 95{4d08edaf359bc2115b18a651716ebd427a137946ddca2143fa23b3ea721061e4} of the nation’s beets are genetically modified.  According to USDA figures, U.S. sugar production will be cut by 20{4d08edaf359bc2115b18a651716ebd427a137946ddca2143fa23b3ea721061e4} next year if producers are not allowed to plant genetically modified seed.

Visit the USDA’s website for more information. 

© Northern Ag Network 2010

Haylie Shipp


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