Friday, August 13, 2010

Judge: sugar beet decision imminent

Concluding a hearing Friday morning in San Francisco, federal Judge Jeffrey White said he would rule shortly on whether to immediately restrict Monsanto Co.'s Roundup Ready sugar beets.

Plaintiffs argued for a total ban until USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service completes the environmental documentation that White said it needs in order to deregulate the seeds.

Plaintiffs are not seeking to halt handling and processing of crops from earlier this year, however -- they just want a list of restrictions on how the industry does so.

White has indicated he'll likely rule in favor of plaintiffs, but he has options. He could simply revoke APHIS's deregulation of the seeds, leaving the agency to decide how to restrict the seeds moving forward.

That's what the industry wants, but plaintiffs say such a process would take too long, allowing for greater cross-pollination with organic crops.

Check Capital Press for further updates.

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