Monday, August 16, 2010

Sugar beets: next steps unclear

A tense atmosphere of wait-and-see has settled over the sugar beet industry.

In the lawsuit over Monsanto's Roundup Ready beets, federal Judge Jeffrey White on Friday made the seeds illegal to use until USDA produces environmental documentation to support their deregulation.

The most immediate question surrounds existing crops. Organic growers had wanted White to decide on rules for how they're to be harvested, transported and processed, but he kicked the task to USDA.

White issued his decision in the afternoon, following a morning hearing in his San Francisco courtroom. Some were surprised by the quick turnaround, and today the players are scrambling to sort out their options.

The industry says it needs time to confer with USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. APHIS says it needs time to digest the ruling. And plaintiffs in the case, represented by Earthjustice, say they'll be watching for any chance to mount another lawsuit over how the agency implements whatever plan it chooses in the coming months.

Check back for updates ...

No comments:

Ag in the West social media watch

Capital Press videos on YouTube

Our most popular videos