Genuity® Roundup Ready® Sugarbeets

Gsugarbeetsenuity® Roundup Ready® sugarbeets were introduced to farmers during the 2008-2009 crop season. Farmers across the U.S. and Canada used the technology on their farms, creating the fastest adoption of any biotech crop to date.

However, on January 21, 2008, some Monsanto opponents initiated a legal action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, challenging the deregulation of Roundup Ready sugarbeets by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White ruled the USDA will have to complete an Environmental Impact Statement for Roundup Ready sugarbeets, but this ruling focused on the process used by the USDA in deregulating Genuity® Roundup Ready® sugarbeets. It in no way questioned the safety or benefits of Genuity® Roundup Ready® sugarbeets.

Sugarbeet growers have confirmed Genuity® Roundup Ready® sugarbeets reduce impacts on the environment and make them more efficient and productive. Alternative technologies require more applications of pesticides, with greater impacts on the environment and lower productivity on farms. This is why more than 1 million acres of Genuity® Roundup Ready® sugarbeet varieties have been planted in 10 U.S. states, and Canadian growers have planted more than 37,000 acres in two provinces.

The plaintiffs then filed a motion on Jan. 21, 2010, for a preliminary injunction against further planting, cultivation, processing, or other use of Genuity® Roundup Ready® sugarbeets until an EIS is completed. However, on March 16, 2010, Judge White denied this request, allowing farmers to continue to plant Roundup Ready sugarbeets this season. With Judge White’s order of August 13, 2010, harvest and processing of Roundup Ready sugarbeet and sugarbeet seed crops planted before August 13, 2010 are not affected and may proceed without interference. The Court’s decision vacates the deregulation of Roundup Ready sugarbeets and returns the product to the USDA for appropriate action for future plantings.

Timeline of Key Events with Roundup Ready Sugarbeets

2005 Roundup Ready® sugarbeets go on the market following USDA/FDA approvals
2006-2007 Large-scale commercial demonstrations of the crop in fields across the U.S.
2008-2009 Farmers create the fastest adoption rate of any biotech crop to date, planting approximately 95% of sugarbeet acres with Roundup Ready® technology
January 21, 2008 The Center for Food Safety (CFS), Organic Seed Alliance, Sierra Club and High Mowing Organic Seeds initiate a legal action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, challenging the deregulation of Roundup Ready® sugarbeets by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
September 21, 2009 U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White rules the USDA will have to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
January 21, 2010 CFS files request for an injunction against “further planting, cultivation, processing, or other use of Roundup Ready® sugarbeets or sugarbeet seeds, including the flowering of any sugarbeet seed crop, until the environmental impact statement has been completed and finally approved.”
March 5, 2010  Injunction hearing held
March 16, 2010 Judge White denies preliminary injunction request, allowing continued planting, cultivating and processing of Genuity® Roundup Ready® sugarbeets
August 13, 2010 With Judge White’s order harvest and processing of Roundup Ready sugarbeet and sugarbeet seed crops planted before August 13, 2010 are not affected and may proceed without interference. The Court’s decision vacates the deregulation of Roundup Ready sugarbeets and returns the product to the USDA for appropriate action for future plantings

 

For additional information consult the Sugar Industry Biotech Council’s website.

Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. This product has been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for this product. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Biotechnology Industry Organization. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Genuity®, Genuity and Design™, Genuity Icons, Roundup®, and Roundup Ready® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. ©2009 Monsanto Company.

Last Updated: 08/16/2010