The sugarbeet industry dispute over scheduling a lawsuit over genetically engineered beets may have consequences for the planting of transgenic beets for 2012.
With U.S. District Judge John Bates in Wash. D.C. ordering court briefs from both sides by Jan. 6 the order appears to split the difference betweed biotech critics and the beet industry. The date is later than recommended by biotech critics but earlier than preferred by the industry.
As soon as the documents are submitted the judge may then choose to hold oral arguments prior to deciding if the USDA violated environmental law by partially deregulating the biotech crops for 2011 planting.
The Center for Food Safety claims the beet industry is seeking delay court decision thus making certain the beet stecklings are already in the ground. The group lead by attorney, Paul Achitoff may choose to continue to prevent planting the 2012 crop.
However, when the decision by the judge is made is difficult to predict with certainty and the recent order relates to procedural steps only at this time.