Crop Biotech Update

USDA Announces Next Steps on Sugar Beets

September 3, 2010
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced its plans regarding a recent court decision on Roundup Ready sugar beets. The court earlier revoked the approval for its commercial cultivation starting 2011. "USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service must chart a course for compliance with its statutory authorities and environmental statutes, such as NEPA, while USDA works to create the environment where all types of producers can and do produce all types of crops," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The steps we have outlined today not only respond to the concerns of producers while complying with the court's ruling, but also further USDA's continuing efforts to enable coexistence among conventional, organic, and biotechnology production systems." APHIS will take the following steps:
  • APHIS has received applications from and is issuing permits to sugar beet seed producers to authorize "steckling" (i.e seedlings) production this fall under strict permit conditions that would not allow flowering of the stecklings. APHIS anticipates that issuance of such non-flowering permits can be completed in the next 2 weeks.
  • APHIS has also received and is evaluating a request for a partial deregulation of Roundup Ready sugar beets. In connection with this evaluation, APHIS is developing an appropriate environmental analysis to inform its decision making regarding this request to authorize future seed and root crop plantings under a combination of permits, administrative orders, or other regulatory measures.
  • APHIS anticipates making decisions on appropriate interim regulatory measures by the end of the year. There will be an opportunity for public comment on any environmental analyses developed.
For the full article, view http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os_gAC9-wMJ8QY0MDpxBDA09nXw9DFxcXQ-
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