US court orders GMO beets destroyed

December 1, 2010

A federal judge has ordered what is believed to be the first-ever destruction of a genetically modified crop in the United States, saying that the altered sugar beets were planted illegally.

US District Judge Jeffrey White in California granted a preliminary injunction Tuesday sought by the Center for Food Safety and other groups, which contended that the Monsanto-produced sugar beet were planted without proper environmental review.

He delayed implementation of the order until December 7 to allow time for an appeal.

White said in his ruling that "there is a significant risk that the plantings pursuant to the permits will cause ."

He added that despite efforts to prevent contamination or cross-pollination of crops, there was no guarantee that the GMO crops would not affect other plants.

He said there have been examples of contamination and that "these incidents are too numerous for this court to declare confidently that these permits provide sufficient containment to protect the environment."

Paul Achitoff of Earthjustice, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the US Department of Agriculture, which was named as the defendant for issuing the permits "thumbed its nose at the judicial system and the public by allowing this crop to be grown without any environmental review."

At issue is the planting of so-called Roundup Ready beets that allow the agribusiness giant Monsanto's Roundup herbicide to be used without harming the crops themselves..

"Herbicide resistant crops just like this have been shown to result in more in our soil and water," Achitoff said.

"USDA has shown no regard for the environmental laws, and we're pleased that Judge White ordered the appropriate response."

The center, which actively opposes biotech crops, said the case was the first in which a judge had ordered the destruction of plantings.

Explore further: Can hemp help the everglades?

Related Stories

Can hemp help the everglades?

August 6, 2007

Within Southern Florida, soil and water conditions indicate potential for leaching from the use of atrazine-based herbicides in corn crops. Scientists from USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and University of Florida ...

Herbicide-tolerant crops can improve water quality

April 22, 2008

The residual herbicides commonly used in the production of corn and soybean are frequently detected in rivers, streams, and reservoirs at concentrations that exceed drinking water standards in areas where these crops are ...

Farmers relying on roundup lose some of its benefit

April 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Roundup Ready crops have made weed control much easier for farmers, but a new study shows their reliance on the technology may be weakening the herbicide's ability to control weeds.

Herbicide diversity needed to keep Roundup effective

July 13, 2009

Using a diverse herbicide application strategy may increase production costs, but a five-year Purdue University study shows the practice will drastically reduce weeds and seeds that are resistant to a popular herbicide.

US Supreme Court overturns ban on GM crop

June 21, 2010

In a landmark first ruling on genetically modified crops, the US Supreme Court overturned Monday a four-year ban on alfalfa seeds engineered by biotech giant Monsanto to resist weed killer.

Recommended for you

Parasitized bees are self-medicating in the wild, study finds

September 1, 2015

Bumblebees infected with a common intestinal parasite are drawn to flowers whose nectar and pollen have a medicinal effect, a Dartmouth-led study shows. The findings suggest that plant chemistry could help combat the decline ...

Male seahorse and human pregnancies remarkably alike

September 1, 2015

Their pregnancies are carried by the males but, when it comes to breeding, seahorses have more in common with humans than previously thought, new research from the University of Sydney reveals.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.