Sugar Beets Cause Debate

Sugar beets are causing a huge debate across the country between traditional and organic producers.
Organic producers are afraid that spring breezes will carry pollen from genetically altered beets to organic crops, ultimately making them worthless. Therefore organic producers are asking a federal judge to stop the planting on over 1 million acres from Michigan to Oregon. The altered beets are engineered to resist the herbicide Roundup.
If the judge stops the production, planters may have to wait up to two or three years for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to make an environmental-impact service decision.
The American Sugar Beet Growers Association thinks the entire situation is radical and could destroy the popular industry.
Luther Markwart, spokesperson for the association, said, “It would have disastrous impacts on the 10,000 growers, our processors, the seed companies and the economies of 10 states.”
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