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Posts Tagged ‘sugar beet’

Beta vulgaris L.

This is a pile of sugar beets. You see these piles in the corner of many fields this time of year. Second to carbonated water, sugar is the most important ingredient in soft drinks. There is a Coca-Cola factory here in Knetzgau. The factory is a major employer in the area. I suppose a lot of the beets grown around here are destined to end up in a bottle. Cans are not very environmentally friendly and unpopular in Germany for this reason.

Monsanto, one of the world’s leading evils, has genetically modified the lowly sugar beet to be resistant Roundup which, like Agent Orange, is a herbicide. Now growers can plant the beets, spray the s*** out of the fields with Roundup, and harvest the only thing that remains. Kind of a “last man standing” method of farming.

Sugar from the biotechnology-enhanced sugar beet has been approved for human and animal consumption in the European Union. On September 21, 2009, a federal court ruled that the USDA had violated federal law in deregulating Roundup Ready sugar beets without adequately evaluating the environmental and socio-economic impacts of allowing commercial production, and will be considering an appropriate injunction.

How could the EU approve use of this genetically modified sugar source when even the business friendly U.S. courts have found inadequate evaluation of the impact this product can have on the environment and the population? Beets me.

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