Update on Appellate Court Activity by the Sugar Industry Biotech Council

December 22, 2010

On December 21, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals extended its stay pending appeal of Judge Jeffrey White’s November 30, 2010, injunction requiring destruction of sugar beet stecklings (seedlings) currently being grown under permits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The stecklings are intended for research and breeding purposes, as well as basic seed and hybrid seed production for 2012 and future years. The Appeals Court consolidated the permit litigation with the appeal of Judge White’s August 13, 2010, decision vacating the deregulation of biotech sugar beets and expedited the briefing and hearing schedule so that the appeals can be heard in early February 2011. To allow for consideration of the appeals, the stay of Judge White’s injunction has been extended to February 28, 2011, or such other time as the Ninth Circuit orders.

The beet sugar industry’s growers, processors, technology providers and seed producers are pleased that the Court of Appeals will now have sufficient opportunity to consider relevant legal precedents and unrebutted evidence that the planting of these permitted steckling fields is authorized by law and would cause no harm.