"USDA Partially Deregulating Biotech Sugar Beets"

"U.S. agricultural regulators on Friday said despite a court ban, they would allow commercial planting of genetically modified sugar beets under closely controlled conditions while they complete a full environmental impact statement.

The move marks the second-such boost by the United States for contested biotech crops in a week, and underscores U.S. determination to expand the use of GMO crops amid rising global fears over food security and surging prices.

After approving genetically altered alfalfa last week in the face of bitter protest and after court rulings against an earlier sugar beet approval, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it would allow Monsanto Co's "Roundup Ready" sugar beets back in the fields this spring."

Carey Gillam and Chuck Abbott report for Reuters February 7, 2011.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011