Finding Common Ground: Stay Halts Destruction of Planted Sugar Beets
(BIO tech NOW) BIO and government make case for allowing interim planting of genetically biotech beets until APHIS completes its environmental impact statement
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a temporary stay of a Nov. 30 order to destroy genetically modified sugar beets.
Judge Jeffrey White had issued the order after ruling that the beets had been planted illegally. The Ninth Circuit issued the stay so it could consider briefings filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other interested parties, including BIO, that seek to overturn the initial court ruling entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
In 2005, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service granted nonregulated status — essentially allowing for widespread commercial use — of Roundup Ready sugar beets. The beets, genetically modified by Monsanto, can tolerate the herbicide glyphosate.
In 2008, the district court invalidated APHIS’ decision to grant nonregulated status to the beets until APHIS prepared a full environmental impact statement. Late this year, the district court had ruled that planted beets could be harvested while APHIS works on the impact statement. APHIS expects to complete its EIS by May 2012. READ MORE