Update on U.S. District Court Activity by the Sugar Industry Biotech Council
December 2, 2010
On November 30, 2010, Judge Jeffrey White of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ordered the removal from the ground 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) and intended for research and breeding purposes, as well as basic seed and hybrid seed production for 2012 and future years. This ruling would take effect on Dec. 7, 2010.
The sugar industry disagrees with this ruling, which has already been appealed by APHIS and industry parties, who are also seeking an immediate stay of the order.
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. The value of sugar beet crops is critically important to rural communities and their economies. Biotech sugar beets planted on 95 percent of all sugar beet acreage have allowed growers to control weeds – one of their greatest challenges – in a more environmentally sustainable way.