Environmental Law

Judge’s Environmental Decision Could Lead to Increase in Sugar Prices

A San Francisco judge’s decision suspending the planting of genetically engineered sugar beets could lead to increases in sugar prices.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White on Tuesday granted a preliminary injunction calling for the destruction of hundreds of acres of sugar beets, but delayed implementation to allow time for appeal, the Recorder reports. He issued the order after finding that the U.S. Agriculture Department had not followed federal law requiring an environmental impact statement.

The ruling follows an August decision by White barring commercial growing of the genetically modified sugar beets, which are resistant to the weed killer Roundup, the New York Times reports. If farmers are forced to switch to conventional seeds, they will have to have to use seeds left over from three or more years ago before “Roundup Ready” beets became popular. There could be shortages and higher prices, the story says.

About half the nation’s sugar comes from sugar beets and the rest comes from sugar cane.

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