US court orders GMO beets destroyed

Dec 01, 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: The origin of the language of life

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US Supreme Court overturns ban on GM crop

Jun 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.

Farmers relying on roundup lose some of its benefit

Apr 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.

Can hemp help the everglades?

Aug 06, 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 ...

Herbicide-tolerant crops can improve water quality

Apr 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 ...

Herbicide diversity needed to keep Roundup effective

Jul 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.

Recommended for you

The origin of the language of life

Dec 19, 2014

The genetic code is the universal language of life. It describes how information is encoded in the genetic material and is the same for all organisms from simple bacteria to animals to humans. However, the ...

Quest to unravel mysteries of our gene network

Dec 18, 2014

There are roughly 27,000 genes in the human body, all but a relative few of them connected through an intricate and complex network that plays a dominant role in shaping our physiological structure and functions.

EU court clears stem cell patenting

Dec 18, 2014

A human egg used to produce stem cells but unable to develop into a viable embryo can be patented, the European Court of Justice ruled on Thursday.

User comments : 0

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.