Tag Archives: GM Sugarbeet

Lawsuit seeks to ban genetically modified sugar beets

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) A group of Oregon farmers are seeking an injunction against this year’s planting of Monsanto’s genetically engineered sugar beets. The groups of organic farmers, food safety advocates and conservationists, is seeking to persuade a judge to ban the crop until the USDA provides a proper environmental impact statement proving that the crops are safe and that they will not cross-contaminate nearby fields.

The debate over whether or not to allow GE crops into the food supply has been a hotly debated one, but the biotech industry has been the side unable to prove that its products are safe. Those concerned about the negative consequences of GE crops have plenty of unresolved questions that demand answers prior to any GE crop being approved. Yet in reality, the USDA has succumbed to industry pressure instead, jeopardizing the entire food industry.

Nearly half of the nation’s sugar beets are genetically modified. They can be found planted on more than one million acres across ten states. The beets have been engineered to be resistant to Monsanto’s “RoundUp” herbicide, but their components are not limited to the fields in which they are planted, spreading across the landscape via pollen and seeds carried in the wind. Because it is impossible to track where GE plant fragments end up, there is no ensuring that any crop is truly non-GE or organic.

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Researchers banned from studying Genetically Modified seeds

April: This is an important issue around GM foods and crops. An independent researcher (such as myself) cannot study Monsanto products. If you want to do an environmental study, you have to sign a contract first, and Monsanto has to approve the study before it’s published. There is no “freedom of study”.

How many of you out there knew this? Does this affect your impression of GM foods?

The following article sheds some light on this.

Under wraps
NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY, VOLUME 27, NUMBER 10, October 2009
http://www.emilywaltz.com/Biotech_crop_research_restrictions_Oct_2009.pdf

*Are the crop industry’s strong-arm tactics and close-fisted attitude to sharing seeds holding back independent research and undermining public acceptance of transgenic crops? Emily Waltz investigates.

The increasingly fractious relationship between public sector researchers and the biotech seed industry has come into the spotlight in recent months. In July, several leading seed companies met with a group of entomologists, who earlier in the year had lodged a public complaint with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over restricted access to materials. In a letter to the EPA, the 26 public sector scientists complained that crop developers are curbing their rights to study commercial biotech crops. “No truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions involving these crops [because of company-imposed restrictions],” they wrote.

In turn, the seed companies have expressed surprise at the outcry, claiming the issue is being overblown. And even though the July meeting, organized by the American Seed Trade Association in Alexandria, Virginia, did result in the writing of a set of principles for carrying out this research, the seed companies are under no compunction to follow them. “From the researchers’ perspective, the key for this meeting was opening up communication to discuss the problem,” says Ken Ostlie, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, who signed the complaint. “It will be interesting to see how companies implement the principles they agreed upon.”

What is clear is that the seed industry is perceived as highly secretive and reluctant to share its products with scientists. This is fueling the view that companies have something to hide.

Who’s in control?

It’s no secret that the seed industry has the power to shape the information available on biotech crops, referred to variously as genetically engineered or genetically modified (GM) crops. Commercial entities developed nearly all of the crops on the US market, and their ownership of the proprietary technology allows them to decide who studies the crops and how. “Industry is completely driving the bus,” says Christian Krupke, an entomologist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
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Green light again for GM alfalfa in the USA

(21 January 2010) In the USA, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) intends to permit the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa once more. This recommendation is based on a newly-completed environmental impact assessment. Year-long legal conflicts were antecedent.

From GMO Compass, a good resource site

The cultivation approval of herbicide-tolerant GM alfalfa issued in 2005 was revoked in 2007 after a Californian court ordered the thorough environmental impact assessment. Diverse environmental groups and consumer associations had filed suit against the approval. The plaintiffs accused the administration of insufficient investigation with regard to possible environmental damage, such as may occur through outcrossing with conventional plants or wild relatives as well as through the spread of resistant weeds.

The GM alfalfa was developed by the agro-biotechnology firm Monsanto and displays tolerance to herbicide containing the active ingredient glyphosate (RoundupReady).

By court ordinance, the cultivation of GM alfalfa was subject to strict constraints: for example, fields intended for planting required approval from the agricultural authority. Special obligations applied to the transport, storage and labeling of the harvest. Monsanto filed high-level suits against these constraints and negotiations are expected this year.

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Was 2009 the year that the world turned against GMO?

Lucy Sharratt – CBAN Coordinator <coordinator@cban.ca>

Welcome to a new year of action! 2010 will certainly be a critical
year on GM crops and foods here in Canada.
GM flax contamination, GM
alfalfa, SmartStax corn, new health critiques, Monsanto’s increased
seed control, GM sugarbeet, and GM wheat are all active issues and
campaigns right now. And the industry has stepped up its PR to sell GM
as the solution to the crises of our time. Please consider your
support to CBAN and our campaigns this year. Stay tuned for new
announcements from CBAN and our Members across Canada. Thank you for
your support and action.

Was 2009 the year that the world turned against GM?

The Ecologist, UK
Claire Robinson & Jonathan Matthews

http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/other_comments/395845/was_2009_the_year_the_world_turned_against_gm.html
11.01.2010

Claire Robinson and Jonathan Matthews are co-editors of GMWatch

Despite promising the world in 2009, biotech corporations have
increasingly raised the hackles of scientists and citizens worldwide

2009 was a year in which the biotech industry, Gates and their US
Administration allies did everything in their power to drive the world
down the GM road, but it was also a year marked by remarkable global
resistance.

It was a year too in which the truth emerged more clearly than ever
about not just the severe limitations and risks of GM crops, but the
viability of the many positive alternatives to GMOs alternatives from
which the profit-driven GM-fixation diverts much needed attention and
resources.
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