Statement on U.S. District Court Decision

Published online: Sep 24, 2009 Sugar Industry Biotech Council
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On September 21, 2009, U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will have to complete an Environmental Impact Statement for Roundup Ready sugarbeets. This is a procedural decision, in which the court concluded USDA needs to show a more thorough review process than was documented in the deregulation process the agency completed in 2005. While the Sugar Industry Biotech Council is disappointed by the outcome, we look forward to the next phase of the proceedings and the opportunity for growers, processors and seed producers to advocate the need for this technology and vigorously defend farmers' freedom to plant Roundup Ready sugarbeets. This ruling found no issue with the safety or benefits of Roundup Ready sugarbeets. The sugar from biotech sugar beets is the same as from conventional sugarbeets and sugarcane, and is widely accepted in the United States and worldwide markets. Farmers in the United States and Canada are choosing to plant Roundup Ready sugarbeets on 95 percent of the acreage because of the environmental and economic benefits they bring to farming operations.