Friday, October 28, 2011

TAKE ACTION: Tell USDA To Deny Deregulation of GE 'Roundup Ready' Sugar Beets

NOTE: What this article doesn't tell you is why you should be concerned about GE sugar beets. You should be concerned because this is where all the different varieties of high fructose corn syrup and all the other sugars originate. You will find these ingredients in all your processed foods. Good Luck eliminating GE foods from your diet. It is a learning process and extremely difficult but not impossible. It requires dramatically altering one's lifestyle. Label GE/GMOs!! Better yet ban them out right. Sharon Perry, Founder

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently announced the availability of a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) that evaluates the potential environmental effects of deregulating (commercializing) sugar beets genetically engineered (GE) to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, commonly referred to as Roundup Ready (RR) sugar beets. APHIS considered three alternatives in the draft EIS: deny the petition seeking a determination of nonregulated status (prohibit commercial planting), make a determination of nonregulated status (allow commercial planting), or extend the partial deregulation of RR sugar beets for the root crop, with mandatory conditions and restrictions. Comments will be accepted until December 13, 2011.

Glyphosate is a known carcinogen, neurotoxin, irritant, and has been found to kill human embryonic cells, and can cause kidney and liver damage. Glyphosate is also harmful to the environment, particularly aquatic life and water quality and has been linked to intersex frogs, and is lethal to amphibians in concentrations found in the environment.

Currently, there are commercially available glyphosate tolerant seed varieties for corn, soybeans, canola, sorghum, and cotton. In addition to sugar beets, USDA recently approved Roundup-Ready alfalfa. Due to serious questions regarding the integrity of USDA’s environmental evaluations, public interest groups, including Beyond Pesticides, have filed suit against the agency to stop its full deregulation of GE alfalfa.

Take Action: APHIS is seeking public comment on the draft EIS and will consider all public comments submitted during the comment period before finalizing the EIS or making any decisions regarding the regulatory status of RR sugar beets. The comment period will be open for 60 days (until December 13, 2011). To obtain feedback and take comments from members of the general public, APHIS is scheduling three public meetings. These meetings will take place in Fargo, N.D., on Nov. 15; Corvallis, Ore., on Nov. 17; and APHIS will also hold a public meeting in the Riverdale, Md., on Nov. 22. Exact locations will be published in the Federal Register and posted on the APHIS website.

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