After nearly a two-hour hearing yesterday, the U.S. District Judge Jeffery White reserved judgment as to whether a preliminary injunction, that would prevent the production or planting of genetically modified sugar beet seeds, should issue. Both parties, however, expect a quick decision as farmers will soon be ready to plant their crop.
Organic farmers and environmental groups will seek this week an injunction to stop the planting of the GM beets until the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (“APHIS”) conducts an environmental impact statement (“EIS”). The lawsuit also seeks to bar the sale of sugar made from GM modified beets.
We’ve all been told: consume Omega-3 fatty acids, usually found in cold water oily fish, for better health. But we’ve also been warned: with global fish stocks in decline, if everyone consumed the recommended amounts of fish in order to obtain enough Omega-3s, the results would be catastrophic for wild fish. Enter Monsanto: with the collaboration of Solae, the company has developed a soybean that has been genetically engineered to contain the Omega-3 fatty acids.
German researchers have successfully transferred a fungal resisting gene found in bacteria and other plants into peas but as a result of high administrative costs and political uncertainty in Germany, they will continue field testing genetically modified peas in United States.
A new breed of genetically engineered dandelions is currently in development and could be implemented in a number of industrial, chemical and pharmaceutical uses. Currently, transgenic dandelions are used to create dandelion-derived latex.
Judge Jeffrey White of the Northern District of California ruled on September 21, 2009, that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s deregulation of genetically engineered RoundUp Ready sugar beets in 2004 was unlawful.
A genetically engineered variety of soybean resistant to Asian rust will soon be widely available in West and Central Africa.
As a follow up to my July 16, 2009 post, here are some more interesting statistics. The USDA reports that American farmers have adopted genetically engineered crops widely since their introduction in 1996, notwithstanding uncertainty about consumer acceptance and economic and environmental impacts.
Despite the strong opposition to GMOs by many consumer group advocates and many scientists, domestically and internationally, including some FDA scientists who raised questions about the safety of GMOs almost two decades ago, the speed at which GMOs are entering the market place seems unaffected. The statistics tell the story.