USDA to Let Monsanto Perform Its Own GMO Studies

USDA to Let Monsanto Perform Its Own GMO Studies

Submitted by Lois Rain on April 22, 2011 –


Last summer, Federal Judge Jeffrey White rebuked the USDA for its continual approval of new GM seeds without proper environmental impact studies; a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. The USDA continues to run over the legal system and approved the novel GM sugar beet crops anyway. Their rationale? A GM sugar beet ban might cause sugar prices to rise…

A probing environmental impact evaluation of Roundup Ready sugar beets would most likely be harsh, right? Cross-pollination and RoundUp resistant superweeds are just a couple of the Monsanto-wreaked problems. The USDA has dismisses the legal system too much already, so to concede a little, it finally decides some environmental impact studies are in order. In a seemingly passive-aggressive act of childish defiance, the USDA is allowing the GMO industry to conduct its own impact studies! Unless they want to pay other researchers to do it, of course.

Judge White wants the USDA to be more guarding of the environment, but the USDA is doing the exact opposite in the name of “not being too burdensome” to the industry. A spokesperson for a biotech industry organization is lauding the moves, believing that the USDA’s new program will speed up GMO crop acceptance and remove its vulnerability to those pesky legalities.

~Health Freedoms

USDA moves to let Monsanto perform its own environmental impact studies on GMOs

Last August, Federal Judge Jeffrey White issued a stinging rebuke to the USDA for its process on approving new genetically modified seeds. He ruled that the agency’s practice of “deregulating” novel seed varieties without first performing an environmental impact study violated the National Environmental Policy Act.

The target of Judge White’s ire was the USDA’s 2005 approval of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets, engineered to withstand doses of the company’s own herbicide. White’s ruling effectively revoked the approval of Monsanto’s novel beet seeds pending an environmental impact study, and cast doubt upon the USDA’s notoriously industry-friendly way of regulating GM seeds.

A rigorous environmental impact assessment would not likely be kind to Roundup Ready sugar beets. First, sugar-beet seeds are cultivated mainly in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, also an important seed-production area for crops closely related to sugar beets, such as organic chard and table beets. The engineered beets could easily cross-pollinate with the other varieties, causing severe damage to a key resource for organic and other non-GMO farmers. Second, Monsanto’s already-unregulated Roundup Ready crops — corn, soy, and cotton — have unleashed a plague of Roundup-resistant “superweeds,” forcing farmers to apply ever-higher doses of Roundup and other weed-killing poisons. Finally, the Roundup herbicide itself is proving much less ecologically benign than advertised, as Tom Laskawy has shown.

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