Tell USDA to say no to GM beets
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USDA Proposing Interim Planting of Illegal, Genetically Engineered Sugar Beets: Tell USDA To Say No!
Center for Food Safety, November 19 2010
In August, a Federal court ruled that USDA's approval of genetically engineered (GE), Roundup Ready sugar beets was unlawful, concluding that USDA had failed to conduct an adequate analysis of the impacts of this crop on farmers and the environment, such as the biological contamination of non-GE crops with GE pollen. The Court made the biotech beets once again illegal to plant or sell until USDA completed a rigorous review of the potential impacts of the beets to farmers, the environment and the public and makes a new decision whether to allow commercialization. USDA anticipates this assessment will be finished in 2012.
Now, under pressure from Monsanto and the sugar industry, USDA has proposed to allow the planting of GE beets again beginning next spring, before the agency completes its environmental assessment of the crop’s impacts.
This USDA proposal would allow commercialization to continue under the guise of field trial permits, which are only used for research. USDA's actions are a "de facto" commercialization creating an end run around the need for future approvals and their analyses.
The USDA proposal includes new measures, claiming these will keep harms to farmers and the environment from occurring. But these are the same measures that the Federal Court refused to adopt in August when it announced GE beets were illegal under federal law. And they are the same measures the agency was charged with analyzing in its yet to be completed environmental impact statement.
USDA, under the influence of the biotech industry, must not be allowed to circumvent environmental law and the opinion of the U.S. courts, or ignore farmer choice and public opinion. Tell USDA its illegal proposal must not be approved!
USDA has a comment period open only through December 6, 2010, so please send your comment today: https://secure3.convio.net/cfs/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=349