Friday, February 18, 2011

Monsanto in the News: Farmers, Seed Groups Await Ruling on GM Sugar Beets

Farmers, Seed Groups Await Ruling on GM Sugar Beets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently approved the partial deregulation of genetically modified sugar beets. Many beet farmers are grateful, but environmental groups say allowing more GM crops could be disastrous.

About half of U.S. sugar is derived from sugar beets. The agriculture and biotech corporation Monsanto introduced Roundup Ready sugar beets in 2008 after successfully introducing modified corn and soybeans. The Roundup Ready seeds are designed to withstand applications of Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, which allows farmers to spray fields without killing their crop.

“I believe [traditional plant breeding] can provide seed systems necessary for feeding the world,” Hubbard said. So far, genetic engineering only promotes use of more chemicals, she added.
Another concern with GM seeds is the unintended spread of the gene.

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