On Friday, the USDA made a decision to allow the commercial use of “Roundup Ready” genetically modified sugar beets. The decision comes a week after the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture approved the planting of a yet another genetically modified plant, alfalfa.
Michael Gregoire, deputy administrator of APHIS, a biotechnology regulatory service claims genetically modified sugar beets are safe and should be deregulated. “After conducting an environmental assessment, we have determined Roundup Ready sugar beets could be partially deregulated without posing a plant pest risk or causing significant effects on the environment,” says Gregoire. APHIS claims the partial deregulation of “Roundup Ready” sugar beets is just an interim measure until the company completes its full environmental impact statement.
Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets are engineered to tolerate herbicides, which makes weed management easier for growers. 95% of sugar beet crops in the U.S. are genetically modified.
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