Statement by the Sugar Industry Biotech Council on the Final Environmental Impact Statement
June 5, 2012
On June 1, 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the completion of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Roundup Ready® sugar beets. As part of the process, APHIS prepared two analyses, one under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and another under the Plant Protection Act (PPA).
The final EIS comprehensively examines the potential environmental impacts of determining the regulatory status of glyphosate-tolerant Roundup Ready sugar beets. USDA APHIS has selected Alternative 2 – determination of nonregulated status (full approval) for Roundup Ready sugar beets – as its Preferred Alternative. The other two alternatives under consideration were to maintain the regulated status of Roundup Ready sugar beets; or to continue planting Roundup Ready sugar beets with regulatory conditions in place.
The assessment conducted under the Plant Protection Act found that Roundup Ready sugar beets are not likely to pose a plant pest risk.
This is not APHIS’ final regulatory determination on the petition for nonregulated status of Roundup Ready sugar beets. APHIS’ analyses are available for public review for at least 30 days and its Record of Decision (ROD) for the final EIS is expected after that time.
Growers will continue to produce Roundup Ready sugar beets under the current requirements of partial deregulation until the ROD is published in the Federal Register. On Feb. 4, 2011, following an environmental assessment, APHIS authorized the interim planting of Roundup Ready sugar beets subject to conditions while it independently considers nonregulated status.
The sugar industry is currently reviewing the final EIS.