Judge orders Monsanto GMO plants to be destroyed

GMO sugar beets make up over 57 percent of our nation's sugar crop

Although U.S.  District Court Judge Jeffrey White ruled last August that the planting and sales of Monsanto’s genetically- modified sugar beets was banned, the US Department of Agriculture still issued permits that allowed companies to plant seedlings to produce seed for future GMO sugar beet crops.

 On November 30th, Judge White – who has ruled on other related Monsanto issues – said those seedlings “shall be removed from the ground.”

Watchdog consumer group Earthjustice brought the case against the USDA, asking the judge to order the young plants be destroyed. It called the action the first court-ordered destruction of a GMO crop.

“We had to run into court and ask the judge to stop them,” said Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff. “He said you’ve got to tear up the plants, which was what we asked him to do. It’s an extreme sort of a thing … but the circumstances were such that there really wasn’t any alternative. They basically had dared the court to stop them.”

This past September, 256 acres of genetically engineered sugar beet seedlings had been planted in Oregon and Arizona. Judge Jeffrey White ruled these seedlings had been planted in violation of federal law.

Environmentalists say widespread use of Monsanto’s GMO crop leads to increased use of herbicides, proliferation of herbicide resistant weeds, and contamination of both conventional and organic crops.

Monsanto stands to lose billions if they are denied use of their genetically modified seeds. In the U.S., sugar beets make up more than half of our sugar supply.It’s estimated that 95 percent of the sugar beets grown in this country are Monsanto’s Genuity® Roundup Ready® sugar beets, which are genetically engineered for tolerance to the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Monsanto pesticide Roundup.

It will be interesting to see what the next steps in this continuing saga will be – on the parts of both the USDA and Monsanto. You can be sure that this issue is far from over.

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3 Responses

  1. Seeing that you’re a green advocate I wanted to reach out and see if you were interested in an article that I recently have written. It’s on the Olympics and the steps they’re taking to go green and decrease the environmental impact that it has. While sports is something far from the topic of your blog, I think that you will find it interesting and informative, and not overwhelming on the sports content.

    I want to spread awareness of the fact that even though the Olympic Games are fantastic and unifying, they are it’s quite a carbon-rich event and are not that environmentally sound. I think you and your readers of (https://envirothink.wordpress.com) will find it a unique topic and a fun read.

    I look forward to hearing back from you!

    • Nerissa;

      This is a topic I am personally interested in. Is there much documentation on this? Send me a link or 2 and I’ll take a look!

  2. “Although U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White ruled last August that the planting and sales of Monsanto’s genetically- modified sugar beets was banned, the US Department of Agriculture still issued permits that allowed companies to plant seedlings to produce seed for future GMO sugar beet crops.”

    Yes, I read an article (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/31/monsanto-worst-company-of-2011.aspx) it says Monsanto company was the worst company in 2011, so bad.

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