Court orders destruction of GMO crop

From the Centre for Food Safety:

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“Today Federal District Judge Jeffrey S. White issued a preliminary injunction ordering the immediate destruction of hundreds of acres of genetically engineered (GE) sugar beet seedlings planted in September after finding the seedlings had been planted in violation of federal law.  The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety on behalf of a coalition of farmers, consumers, and conservation groups.  The lawsuit was filed on September 9, shortly after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed it had allowed the seedlings to be planted.

The court outlined the many ways in which GE sugar beets could harm the environment and consumers, noting that containment efforts were insufficient and past contamination incidents were “too numerous” to allow the illegal crop to remain in the ground. In his court order, Judge White noted, “farmers and consumers would likely suffer harm from cross-contamination” between GE sugar beets and non-GE crops. He continued, “the legality of Defendants’ conduct does not even appear to be a close question,” noting that the government and Monsanto tried to circumvent his prior ruling, which made GE sugar beets illegal.

Paul Achitoff of Earthjustice, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said, “USDA thumbed its nose at the judicial system and the public by allowing this crop to be grown without any environmental review.  Herbicide resistant crops just like this have been shown to result in more toxic chemicals in our soil and water.  USDA has shown no regard for the environmental laws, and we’re pleased that Judge White ordered the appropriate response.”

Plaintiff Center for Food Safety’s Senior Staff Attorney George Kimbrell said, “Today’s decision is a seminal victory for farmers and the environment and a vindication of the rule of law.  The public interest has prevailed over USDA’s repeated efforts to implement the unlawful demands of the biotech industry.”

The plaintiffs—The Center for Food Safety, Organic Seed Alliance, High Mowing Organic Seeds, and the Sierra Club—had immediately sought a court order to halt the planting.  On September 28 Judge White ruled that USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) had violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by allowing the plantings without analyzing the potential environmental, health, and socioeconomic impacts of growing GE sugar beets.  Judge White heard testimony from the parties during a three-day hearing in November before issuing today’s ruling….”

Read it all on Centre for Food Safety website.

8 Comments

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8 responses to “Court orders destruction of GMO crop

  1. Maggie

    ‘Herbicide resistant crops just like this have been shown to result in more toxic chemicals in our soil and water.’

    Actually, if whoever wrote this knew anything about farming, they would know that it is a false statement and yes, I do know a thing or two about growing this crop as I was raised by a sugar beet farmer and spent countless hours working on the farm.

    Roundup Ready sugar beets actually require LESS herbicide applications than those that do not contain the Roundup resistant gene, which would actually result in LESS soil and water contamination because LESS chemicals are used. Before the introduction of genetically modified sugar beets, weed control was done using multiple chemicals because different chemicals were required to control different weeds. In contrast, Roundup will kill many different weeds so less chemicals are used which basically translates to: less chemicals used = less potential contamination of soil and water.

    In addition, when multiple chemicals are used to control weeds, more chemical applications are required because they have to be applied during different time frames in order to be effective and cannot be mixed together and sprayed all at once. Roundup is one chemical that controls many different weeds and its use reduces the number of trips that farmers have to make through their fields, resulting in reduced fuel usage, soil erosion & compaction, and time spent in the field.

  2. Cheryl

    Maggie, we don’t care what you say, it’s a done deal and it was necessary.
    Monsanto has lied about it’s roundup ready crops and farmers around the world are having problems with these GMO products, my husband being one of them.
    The very idea of these kinds of abnormal plants is insane in the first place, plants that carry their own insecticide, plants that thrive on chemicals and plants engineered with only a limited knowledge of long range effects on living things is crazy too. It would be different if all the promises that Monsanto made were true, but they are not. The cruelest and the most devastating thing has been done against poor farmers is giving them terminal seeds, when traditionally they saved part of the harvest to plant the next season. Many have gone under, committed suicide and been driven off their farms because they couldn’t afford to buy seed every years, especially since they didn’t know the seed was terminal and planted as usual and lost a whole crop and a season!
    These farmers bought into the whole, “you need chemicals to farm” scenario, including my husband. He had to learn the hard way, fortunately we don’t depend on the farm to live.
    These companies that only care about making a profit harm everybody, their products aren’t as safe as they claim, don’t always do what they say it will, and cost more in the end run.
    Now that it has been shown that organic farming produces more and better crop yields, the argument that chemicals are needed is moot.
    Besides you sound just like a Monsanto sales rep. They do avoid the issue of superweeds being created because of Roundup, now don’t they?

  3. Cheryl

    One more thing, Maggie, don’t get me started on the injustice that Monsanto has done to Canadian farmers! You know, how they sued farmers for having rogue roundup ready seeds growing wild in the fields, claiming patent infringement! Sure it was accidental that the trucks hauling the GM seed, from a Monsanto farm, lost it’s tarp and the seeds were blowing in the wind the entire way past other farms and took root wherever they landed. Just how much of that was the independent farmers fault?
    Did that matter to Monsanto, NO, they sued anyway.
    Or how about when they tried to buy up every single independent seed company around the world, or how they try to patent seeds to control what is grown and by whom. They are seeking to monopolize all seeds, to own them and make everyone buy seeds only from them.They act like they think they are God himself, talk about gall!
    What little benefit their products supply is crushed by the heartless and cruel actions they’ve taken.

  4. aconsumer

    To say that noone cares what another thinks because they do not share the same opinion is childish. I wish I knew more facts instead of mud slinging back and forth. Like what is the process used to make these seeds? Are chemicals used to make these seeds roundup resistant? Did they test the soil and how? What were these findings? etc I personally tend to not listen to anyone who slings mud because it tends to sound just like a pre-election ad….(which I also turn off) and it reduces real life issues to the gradeschool playground………..now no hair pulling children!!!!

  5. Maggie

    I’m sorry if you don’t care what I have to say because I DO care what everyone else has to say, including you, Cheryl. What I do not like is when people support their opinions with false facts. No doubt there are problems with GM crops (and I think that suing farmers for growing GM crops that they didn’t plant is absolutely ridiculous), but the truth is that multiple chemicals and multiple applications are needed for weed control compared to the use of just one chemical needed with GM crops, there are less trips made through the field because there are less applications, and there is less cultivation needed (which results in less fuel consumption and pollution) and if you can’t control the weeds, you’re in trouble and so is your income.

    While I agree that the only method that is best for the environment is to go organic, it’s very unlikely that you can raise sugar beets this way and still make a profit because there are so many diseases that can destroy an entire crop and even if you hire workers to remove weeds manually (assuming you can even find reliable workers, believe me, I’ve had way too many bad experiences with dishonest workers who do not do quality work) most farmers cannot afford to pay more than minimum wage and some cannot afford them at all (not to mention that it is brutal work and very few people want to do it – after more than a decade of doing that job every summer I have the back problems to prove it). In fact, in my area, organic sugar beet production isn’t even possible unless there was a separate processing facility to haul them to, which there isn’t, because it just isn’t possible to produce a high enough yield for it to be economical.

  6. Maggie

    “I wish I knew more facts instead of mud slinging back and forth.”

    That’s exactly the point I’m trying to make – a lot of people who are either for or against this issue are on one side of it just because they don’t understand all of the facts. I can see both sides but I know which one I’m on because I understand the science behind it all. And to answer your questions, chemicals are not used to make them resistant – the genetic makeup of the plant is altered to make it resistant to Roundup (or other chemicals that are the same but sold under different names, kind of like how generic prescriptions are the same as brand name but cheaper). As for testing the soil and other research, that’s where the problem lies. While there is proof that there is less pollution when growing GM crops compared to the conventional way and it hasn’t been proven that they are harmful to humans, there isn’t enough research (in my opinion) to predict what the long term effects of this technology will be on the environment, humans, and cross contamination (which is when the GM plants accidentally breed with non-GM plants from another field, which is a problem when farmers don’t want to grow GM crops and use their own seed because they can’t use it if it cross pollinates with the GM crops. However, in my area, this isn’t a problem with sugar beets – not to say that it isn’t a problem with other crops because it is – because sugar beets are a biannual crop, meaning that they produce seeds in their second year of growth, and are harvested for sugar during their first year of growth and as a result, never go to seed and never cause cross contamination. The contamination issue exists in areas where the seed is produced and I think that more restrictions need to be in place to make sure that it doesn’t happen).

  7. cheryl

    It wasn’t a good choice of words, but it does show how I feel about it all. I’m not trying to hinder anyones free speech, something I fervently believe in and will fight to the death about.
    Let me clarify my statement, I don’t care what you say, but feel free to say it.
    But, there are times when I just get fed up with the tons of crap and misinformation being passed off as facts and truth. I do research on both sides of the issues, you find out more that way, keeps your balance.
    The truth is that, NO you don’t need pesticides and artificial fertilizers to grow healthy, safe crops. If your crops are healthy and the soil has been well conditioned, and natural complete fertilizers are used properly. Insects love weak, sickly plants. Thriving plants don’t need pesticides. It’s the natural order of things. And true fertilizers is far more than a lot of nitrogen and a couple of other chemicals added. Plants need trace minerals and balances must be maintained.
    Especially when one of those products is Agent Orange repackaged.
    And when the evidence of years of usage CLEARLY AND UNDENIABLY show that the chemicals have done and are doing more harm than any good.
    Overkill, overuse, lack of training, lack of consideration for the people working and living daily on these farms, letting them believe that these chemicals are harmless, like the false labeling claiming that Roundup is biodegradable, when it’s not.
    The impact can be devastating. If a husband and his brother are farming and are sickened or die the family can be destroyed. Then what will happen to them? What if the children are born with birth defects from the mother’s and father’s exposure, how is that family going to handle that?
    It might not seem important in this country, but these products are heavily promoted all over the world, in places that can’t absorb or handle damage caused by chemicals.
    But the main issue is that the crops actually do better without the chemicals, there are fewer problems and less danger.
    Studies have already been done and completed that show organic farming can more than adequately feed the world.
    And isn’t that the goal, to feed the world, to make farms sustainable?
    If Monsanto’s goal was to help farmers, then the focus would be on sustainable ways to control pests and weeds. Then again, all weeds aren’t bad, but actually beneficial in many ways. Some are more beneficial than the crops being officially grown.
    I was raised on the whole, “Better living thru chemistry” line. We didn’t get better living, but we did get plenty of birth defects, animal and insect die offs, crazy illnesses and new diseases. Babies born with 1400 different chemicals in their umbilical cord blood and people with severe chemical sensitivities and multiple allergies and huge jump in children with asthma.
    The doctor’s oath should apply to farming, “First do no harm”.

  8. Its about time , in the Honey industry we have been worried about the contamination to honey bees and its why many of the California Bee Keepers have stopped bringing Bees to Farmers Crops due to the fact we do not want to spread contamination of GMO and Non GMO Crops bees will Pollinate any flowers they can not make a difference between GMO and Non GMO. Besides what will GMO crops pollen do the the Bee Colonys has any one done any research on this . Will GMO Crops destroy the Honey Bee Industry?

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