GMO sugar beets get the green light

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Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ruled once and for all
to allow unrestricted planting of Monsanto’s GMO sugar beets. This
announcement puts an end to a long court battle to force the USDA to
uphold the law — a battle that some anti-GMO advocates might call

We covered the GMO sugar fracas extensively last month,
but here’s a quickie review: The USDA was forced to perform a
court-ordered environmental review of the GMO sugar beet seed and to
restrict planting by farmers until the review was finished. As it
happens, this was a review that the USDA had failed to complete back in
2008 when it had allowed farmers to begin using the seed. This failure
was in violation of law and was the grounds for the court’s intervention
after several consumer groups filed suit. And though the agency flouted
a court-ordered halt to planting out of concern about a sugar shortage,
they did ultimately comply with the judge’s order to finish a full

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