Interim Biotech Sugar Beet Measures Considered
Washington--The USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service is looking at temporary measures that could allow farmers to continue the production of biotech sugar beets uninterrupted in 2011. Among the interim measures being considered is partial deregulation. If partial deregulation is granted in a timely fashion, RoundUp Ready sugar beets could be approved for use by farmers before planting time next year.
On Aug. 13, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that biotech sugar beets, modified to resist the herbicide glyphosate, may not be planted until USDA completes an Environmental Impact Statement. Under the ruling, although the current crop (95 percent RoundUp Ready) can be harvested, sold and processed into sugar for resale, biotech sugar beets will not be available for sale for the 2011 crop year.
Farm Bureau continues to monitor the sugar beet issue, including expedited completion of the EIS by APHIS, which is expected to take two years.