usda deregulates genetically engineered sugar beets

from The USDA announced on Friday, February 4, that it would “partially deregulate” Roundup Ready sugar beets, allowing farmers to begin planting the GE crop this spring.

Despite a California Supreme Court ruling six months back in August which halted the deregulation of GE sugar beets, on Friday the USDA has issued a partial deregulation for this genetically engineered crop. This is the first time the agency has issued a ‘partial deregulation’ of a GE crop – essentially, it means that farmers will be allowed to plant Roundup Ready sugar beets, but they must adhere to a USDA-designed plan to prevent contamination of organic sugar beet fields. An attempt to head off a future “shortage of U.S. sugar” supplies has been given by USDA officials as the agency’s reason for the move. Last week the USDA gave farmers the go ahead to begin planting GM Alfalfa.

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