Statement by the Sugar Industry Biotech Council on U.S. District Court Decision
September 23, 2009
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 sugar beets. 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 sugar beets.
This ruling found no issue with the safety or benefits of Roundup Ready sugar beets. 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 sugar beets on 95 percent of the acreage because of the environmental and economic benefits they bring to farming operations.
Updated October 29, 2009
The court plans an initial scheduling conference on December 4, 2009, at which time the parties will learn more about how the judge plans to proceed with the next phase of the case and the timing for future court activities.