Statement by the Sugar Industry Biotech Council on APHIS’ Record of Decision on Roundup Ready® Sugar Beets

On July 20, 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the determination of nonregulated status (full approval) for Roundup Ready® sugar beets. The Record of Decision (ROD), published in the Federal Register, is based on the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), issued by APHIS on June 1, 2012, in which the agency selected alternative 2, determination of nonregulated status for Roundup Ready sugar beets, as its preferred alternative.

The final EIS comprehensively examines the potential environmental impacts of determining the regulatory status of glyphosate-tolerant Roundup Ready sugar beets and consisted of two analyses, one under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and another under the Plant Protection Act (PPA). The assessment conducted under the Plant Protection Act found that Roundup Ready sugar beets are not likely to pose a plant pest risk.

The Sugar Industry Biotech Council welcomes USDA’s decision to deregulate Roundup Ready sugar beets as an important step toward providing farmers the choice of planting this technology. Growers currently growing this crop continue to be committed to the safety and stewardship of Roundup Ready sugar beets.

Sugar beets are an important crop, planted on 1.2 million acres in the United States annually and supplying half of our nation’s sugar. This important supply is essential for our food manufacturers and consumers. Roundup Ready sugar beets, planted on 95 percent of all sugar beet acreage over the last three years, have allowed growers to control weeds – one of their greatest challenges – in a more environmentally sustainable way.