Monday, September 27, 2010

Feds want venue change for biotech beets

USDA today asked a federal court to transfer a lawsuit over biotech sugar beets to Washington, D.C.

The case is proceeding in California's Northern District court in San Francisco, as did its predecessor. The original case wrapped up in August, when Judge Jeffrey White re-regulated the beets and their seeds pending two years' worth of environmental work.

USDA says the case has nothing to do with California. The nation's capital, on the other hand, contains the headquarters of both defendants and plaintiffs, the agency argued. As a second choice, either Oregon or Arizona would make an appropriate venue because seed is produced in those states, USDA says.

Meanwhile, White is expected to rule shortly on a restraining order that could impact this fall's production of seed stecklings.

Check back for updates.

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