Information for Consumers
Sugar is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. Of all known plants, sugar is most highly concentrated in sugar beets and sugar cane. The sucrose (sugar) from sugar beets and sugar cane is identical, and the same as the sucrose found in fruits and vegetables.
Grown on 1.3 million acres by more than 10,000 farmers in the United States and Canada, sugar beets provide over half of the sugar we produce in the United States. Sugar cane, grown on almost 1 million acres in the United States, accounts for about half of the sugar produced domestically. Sugar beet and sugar cane growers throughout North America face significant challenges in protecting their crops from weeds, insects and disease. Biotechnology provides a platform for new technologies to manage these challenges and develop traits, such as new options for weed control, insect protection and disease resistance. Today, biotechnology-enhanced sugar beets are helping growers manage weeds, improve productivity and lessen impacts on the environment, while preserving a sustainable and geographically diverse supply of sugar.