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Genetically modified foods: Beets rejected
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, September 23, 2009
Posted: October 3rd, 2009

A federal judge has ruled that the government failed to adequately assess the environmental impacts of genetically engineered sugar beets before approving the crop for cultivation in the United States. The decision could lead to a ban on the planting of the beets, which have been widely adopted by farmers. Judge Jeffrey S. White of Federal District Court in San Francisco said that the Agriculture Department should have done an environmental impact statement. He said it should have assessed the consequences from the likely spread of the genetically engineered trait to other sugar beets. The decision echoes another ruling two years ago by a different judge in the same court involving genetically engineered alfalfa. In that case, the judge later ruled that farmers could no longer plant the genetically modified alfalfa until the Agriculture Department wrote the environmental impact statement. Two years later, there is still no such assessment. We expect the same result here as we got in alfalfa, said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, a Washington advocacy group that was also involved in the alfalfa lawsuit. It will halt almost any further planting and sale because its no longer an approved crop. The Center for Food Safety was joined in the suit by the Sierra Club, the Organic Seed Alliance and High Mowing Organic Seeds, a small seed company. The beets contain a bacterial gene licensed by Monsanto that renders them impervious to glyphosate, an herbicide that Monsanto sells as Roundup. Judge White said that the pollen from the genetically engineered crops might spread to non-engineered beets.

Note: For an excellent overview of the dangers posed by genetically modified foods, click here. For other major media news articles revealing the dangers of already widespread GM foods, click here.

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