SAN FRANCISCO, California, September 22, 2009 (ENS) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s deregulation of genetically engineered RoundUp Ready sugar beets in 2004 was unlawful, a federal court in California ruled Monday.
The federal district court for the Northern District of California ruled that the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, APHIS, violated the law when it failed to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement before deregulating sugar beets that were genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, marketed by Monsanto as Roundup.
Plaintiff groups Center for Food Safety, Organic Seed Alliance, Sierra Club, and High Mowing Seeds, represented by Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety, filed suit against APHIS in January 2008.
They claimed that the agency failed to adequately assess the environmental, health, and associated economic impacts of allowing Roundup Ready sugar beets to be commercially grown without restriction. This failure to assess violates the National Environmental Policy Act, the court determined.
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