St. Louis Public Radio News
9:23 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Court orders destruction of genetically modified beets; Monsanto to appeal

ST. LOUIS – A federal judge has ordered the destruction of more than 250 acres of genetically modified sugar beets. Monsanto said Wednesday that it will appeal the ruling.

The judge's decision is part of an ongoing lawsuit brought by environmental groups seeking to prevent farmers from planting Monsanto's Roundup Ready seed until the USDA completes an environmental impact statement.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said the USDA should not have issued permits allowing farmers in Arizona and Oregon to plant the beets in September.

The same judge had ordered a halt to further plantings the month before.

About ninety-five percent of the sugar beet crop in the U.S. is grown from seeds engineered to resist Monsanto's Roundup herbicide.