GMO Beets Put on Hold in California

Sugar beets supply half of the nation's sugar, but a U.S. federal district court judge has prohibited the cultivation of genetically-modified Roundup Ready sugar beets previously approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA; Washington, DC), The Center for Food Safety reports.

Sugar beets supply half of the nation's sugar, but a U.S. federal district court judge has prohibited the cultivation of genetically-modified Roundup Ready sugar beets previously approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA; Washington, DC), The Center for Food Safety reports.

Roundup Ready sugar beets are genetically designed to be resistant to Roundup pesticide. Opponents of these and other genetically-modified crops are concerned that cross-pollination-via wind, birds, or bees-could affect conventional and organic crops nearby.

Judge Jeffrey White of the Northern District of California declared that future planting and sales of Roundup Ready sugar beets shall be prohibited in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, pending an environmental impact statement (EIS).

USDA projects that an EIS on Roundup Ready sugar beets may be ready by 2012.