Judge Rejects Approval of Biotech Sugar Beets
Monsanto's smooth sugar-beet sailing has hit a major bump in the road - although the final outcome is unpredictable.
Study Title:Judge Rejects Approval of Biotech Sugar Beets
From New York Times article:
By ANDREW POLLACK
In a decision issued Monday, Judge Jeffrey S. White of Federal District Court in San Francisco, said that the Agriculture Department should have done an environmental impact statement. He said it should have assessed the consequences from the likely spread of the genetically engineered trait to other sugar beets or to the related crops of Swiss chard and red table beets.
The decision echoes another ruling two years ago by a different judge in the same court involving genetically engineered alfalfa. In that case, the judge later ruled that farmers could no longer plant the genetically modified alfalfa until the Agriculture Department wrote the environmental impact statement. Two years later, there is still no such assessment and the alfalfa, with rare exceptions, is not being grown.
In the new case, Judge White has not yet decided on the remedy. A meeting to begin that phase of the case is scheduled for Oct. 30.
But the plaintiffs in the lawsuit said they would press to ban planting of the biotech beets, arguing that Judge White’s decision effectively revoked their approval and made them illegal to grow outside of field trials.
“We expect the same result here as we got in alfalfa,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, a Washington advocacy group that was also involved in the alfalfa lawsuit. “It will halt almost any further planting and sale because it’s no longer an approved crop.”
The Center for Food Safety was joined in the suit by the Sierra Club, the Organic Seed Alliance and High Mowing Organic Seeds, a small seed company. The defendant, the Department of Agriculture, said it was reviewing the decision.
Some beet farmers and sugar processors declined to comment Tuesday on the decision, saying they needed more time to analyze it. But they said that the genetically engineered sugar beets had proved immensely popular since first being widely grown in 2008.
The beets contain a bacterial gene licensed by Monsanto that renders them impervious to glyphosate, an herbicide that Monsanto sells as Roundup. That allows the herbicide to kill weeds without harming the crop.
“Growers have embraced this technology,” said Duane Grant, a farmer in Rupert, Idaho, who said industry surveys suggested that 95 percent of the sugar beets planted this year were genetically modified.
Mr. Grant, who is also the chairman of the Snake River Sugar Company, a grower-owned cooperative, said easier weed control allowed farmers to reduce tillage, which in turn saved fuel and fertilizer and reduced erosion.
Mr. Grant, as well as some other growers, sugar processors and seed companies like Monsanto, had sought to intervene in the case. Judge White said that other than filing a friend-of-the-court brief, they could not participate in the phase of the lawsuit examining whether the Agriculture Department fulfilled its obligations under environmental law.
However, those groups are expected be allowed to take part in the next round of the case, involving the remedies. “We’re going to use that opportunity to advocate the need for that technology and vigorously defend our growers’ freedom to plant Roundup Ready sugar beets,” said Luther Markwart, executive vice president for the American Sugarbeet Growers Association.
Beets supply about half the nation’s sugar, with the rest coming from sugar cane. About 10,000 farmers grow about 1.1 million acres of sugar beets, Mr. Markwart said. That makes it a small crop compared to staples like soybeans and corn.
The Agriculture Department did conduct an environmental assessment before approving the genetically engineered beets in 2005 for widespread planting. But the department concluded there would be no significant impact, so a fuller environmental impact statement was not needed.
But Judge White said that the pollen from the genetically engineered crops might spread to non-engineered beets. He said that the “potential elimination of farmer’s choice to grow non-genetically engineered crops, or a consumer’s choice to eat non-genetically engineered food” constituted a significant effect on the environment that necessitated an environmental impact statement.
In March, Judge White had asked the federal government if the Obama administration would take a different stance in the case than the Bush administration had. The new administration said there would be no change.
David Berg, president of American Crystal Sugar Company, the nation’s largest sugar beet processor, said food companies had accepted sugar from the biotech beets. “They’ve been a big nonevent in terms of customer acceptance,” he said.
Judge Rejects Approval of Biotech Sugar Beets 2009 September
Related Entries: Type 1 Diabetes: Risk Factor Alert
Disrupted Gut Clocks Linked with IBS, GERD, Obesity, and Other GI Concerns
Body Clocks and Weight Management – It’s All About Timing
Saturated Fat Myth – Debunked Again
Powerful Nutrition for Common Chemical Exposures
Endocrine Disruptor Compounds and Natural Solutions
Endocrine Disruptor Compounds and Your Hormones
Low Blood Pressure Linked with Brain Atrophy
Vitamin K, Leptin, AGEs, and Arthritis
Advanced Solutions for Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis: Good Oils versus Bad Oils and Inflammation
High Levels of Omega 6 Fatty Acids Found in Bones of Osteoarthritis Patients Worsens Joint Breakdown
Lipoic Acid Protects the Heart and Immune System from Acute Emotional Stress
Whiplash, Thyroid, and Adrenals
Brain Inflammation Now Documented in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Brain Protective Effects of Proathocyanidins
Nutrient Highlight: Discover the Best Form of Folate
Lutein and Zeaxanthin Offset Gene Weaknesses that Cause Macular Degeneration
Lycopene Builds Its Anti-Prostate Cancer Case
Carotenes Improve the Quality of Semen
Vitamin B12 as Methylcobalamin Repairs Nerves & Lowers Pain
Folic Acid Activates Neural Stem Cells for Brain Rejuvenation
Chromium Improves Insulin Function & Reduces Binge Eating
How Fiber and Niacin Protect Against Colon Inflammation and Cancer
Berries Have Anti-Aging Impact on Immune System
Strawberries Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
Friendly Flora Improves Fatty Liver Disease
Flavonoid Intake Improves Cardio Health in At-Risk Men
Polyphenols and Essential Fatty Acids Reduce Cardio Risk in Overweight People
Vitamin C Reduces the Risk for Hemorrhagic Stroke
Testosterone Therapy Increases Heart Attack Risk
Magnesium Intake Linked to Lower Cardiovascular Inflammation
Q10 Boosts Energy, Nerves, Muscles & Metabolism
Coenzyme Q10 Remarkably Improves Circulation
Tyrosine Helps Maintain Mental Ability Under Stress
Green Tea Extract Lowers Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar & Inflammation
Poor Flexibility is a Sign of Stiff Arteries
A Sluggish Lymph System Causes Snoring & Sleep Apnea
DHA is Vital to Cardiovascular Wellness
Magnesium Supplements Lower Blood Pressure, Prevent Calcification
Magnesium for the Prevention of Heart Disease
Pomegranate Protects HDL Cholesterol from Damage
Pomegranate Blocks Flu Replication
Tocotrienols: Twenty Years of Dazzling Cardiovascular and Cancer Research
Is Resveratrol the Fountain of Youth?
Grape Seed Extract Lowers Blood Pressure
Scientists Tout Resveratrol as a Primary Nutrient for Cardio Health
Leptin, Thyroid, and Weight Loss
Excess Appetite Causes Abdominal Fat
Low Energy? Detect Thyroid Related Fatigue
Curcumin Boosts AMPK Activation, Prevents Fatty Liver
Quercetin Activates Mitochondrial Biogenesis
Quercetin Guards Against Inflammation-Induced Bone Loss
Head Injuries Double or Triple the Risk of Early Death
Fatty Fish Consumption Lowers the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 33%
Flavonoids Continue to Show Potent Diabetes Prevention
Vitamin K2 Decreases Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Women
Cissus Quadrangularis Enhances Fracture Healing
Cissus Quadrangularis Reduces Exercise-Related Joint Pain
Nobiletin and Tangeretin Help Protect Against Bone Loss
Nobiletin and Tangeretin Inhibit Respiratory Virus
Oregano Oil Inhibits Biofilm Formation
Bromelain Helps Chronic Sinus Inflammation
Curcumin Demonstrates Potent Anti-Flu Properties
Quercetin Protects Brain and Body from Low Oxygen Stress
Ubiquinol Q10 Protects Against Magnified Tissue Injury
Ubiquinol Q10 Protects Eyes of Diabetic Patients
Limonene Promotes Healing of Digestive Lining
Magnesium Intake Reduces Mortality
Fiber is Vital for Cardio Health
Friendly Flora Boosts Weight Loss in Obese Women
Tocotrienols Help Correct Fatty Liver in Humans
Vitamin E Boosts Quality of Life for Alzheimer’s Patients
Astaxanthin Demonstrates Brain Protection & Rejuvenation
Top 10 Health Stories of 2013
Resveratrol’s Amazing Anti-Aging Effect on Circulation
Grape Seed Extract Normalizes Blood Pressure in Mild Hypertension Patients
Don’t Let Bacterial Infections Set Up Shop
Viral Replication Fueled by Sugar
Anti-Vitamin Propaganda Hits a Fever Pitch
Antacid Medications Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency, Speed Aging
Men Should Take Folic Acid Prior to Conception to Prevent Birth Defects
Exercise Potently Reduces the Risk for Diseases of Aging
Fisetin Demonstrates Potent Bone Protection Properties
Green Tea (EGCG) Improves Body Weight and Autoimmune Arthritis
Low Midlife Iron Contributes to Declining Cognitive Function in Women
DHA Reduces Inflammation in Brains of Alzheimer’s Patients
Low Magnesium Linked to Poor Vitamin D Status
Vitamin D Lowers Depression and Nerve Pain in Women with Type 2 Diabetes
Adequate Vitamin D is Needed to Prevent Brain Damage
Nutrition Makes Anti-Aging Possible: Secrets of Your Telomeres
Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Lipoic Acid Rejuvenate Stressed Mitochondria
Low DHA and EPA Linked to Major Depression and Anxiety
Higher Dose DHA and EPA Reduce Infection Toxins
DHA and EPA Help People with Dry Eye Syndrome
Tocotrienol E Supports Bone Health
Antioxidants and Magnesium Linked to Better Hearing
Bovine Lactoferrin Anti-Flu Properties
Olive Leaf Extract Improves Blood Sugar Metabolism
Most Popular News:
Connect with Wellness Resources: