Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No GMO Beets, For Now

See an interactive version of this map at Center for PostNatural History.

On Friday August 13, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White revoked a five-year-old approval of genetically altered sugar beets from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Judge White cited the USDA's insufficient testing of weedkiller-tolerant sugar beets and their possible effects to the environment. Not to mention the possible effects of these pesticides on human health, via people eating pesticide-saturated crops.

Genetically modified plants are immune to glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup, which means farmers can use inordinate amounts of pesticide to kill everything else in site, except the beets. These pesticides linger in our groundwater and migrate to other areas, long after the beets are harvested. They pose a health danger to the farmer and others in the area, as well as animals, both wild and domestic, plantlife, birds and bees.

Genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets are already planted on more than one million acres of farmland, spanning 10 different states from Michigan to Oregon. In fact, the Roundup-resistant gene is present in 95-percent of U.S.-grown sugar beet plants. Read more about this at Treehugger.

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