For those of us wondering how bad the untested genetically modified food experiment is going to get before it gets any better, a ray of hope was just offered. A San Francisco judge, the very honorable, Judge Jeffrey White just ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture`s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service violated environmental law because of inadequate environmental testing of genetically modified sugar beets. He ruled that the agency failed to see if the genetically altered beets would eventually share their funky pesticide proof genes with other crops. Judge White noted that pollen from sugar beets can be blown long distances and pollinate other crops, including table beets and chard.
White wrote, “The potential elimination of farmers` choice to grow nongenetically engineered crops, or consumers` choice to eat nongenetically engineered food … has a significant effect on the human environment.”
The judge ordered the federal agency to produce an environmental impact statement after taking a hard look at the issue. A lesser look by the agency found that the sharing of genetically altered pollen was no cause for concern.
This is the second blow for Monsanto and according the Associated Press, a “similar ruling in 2007 forced a ban on planting Roundup Ready alfalfa until a re-examination was done.” That environmental impact statement has yet to be completed, so it effectively halted the growth and sale of GMO alfalfa.
About half of the sugar beets used in the United States are currently Monsanto`s genetically modified variety and the judge didn`t rule about the harvest of the current crop.
If you haven`t been already, it`s wise to avoid sugar for a while to make sure you`re not consuming genetically modified sugar beets.
Genetically modified foods have been linked to smaller, less developed brains, livers and testicles. GMOs have been found to enlarge other tissues, including the pancreas and intestines. They`ve been known to atrophy the liver, while causing structural changes in the stomach and intestines. GMOs have additionally been linked to infertility and allergies. Here`s more: http://www.saynotogmos.org/paper.pdf.
All of the health problems associated with consuming genetically modified foods made the news in Europe years ago, when genetically modified crops were new. The citizens of Europe rebelled, which is why genetically altered foods are currently banned, or mostly labeled, in Europe.
In the U.S., the news wasn`t covered by mainstream outlets. As a consequence genetically modified foods are not labeled and consumers remain largely unaware. Genetically modified ingredients are available in the large majority of processed foods, and in the U.S. it`s actually illegal for manufacturers to label GMO products, as GMO products.
U.S. officials have been cited as saying that such labeling would “confuse consumers,” and it`s widely known that the large majority of consumers don`t want to eat genetically modified foods. Their logic has been: if consumers knew which foods were genetically modified, they would avoid them and thereby make the wrong choice. The official said to have explained the government’s logic at an international Codex meeting later denied doing so.
Organic farmers, food safety advocates and conservation groups brought the lawsuit. According to Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff, on Oct. 30 they will ask the judge for an injunction to ban new plantings until the environmental impact statement is complete.
An American Sugar Beet Growers Association spokesman said the association is going to fight for the right to grow genetically modified sugar beets. It wasn`t disclosed if, or how much, funding the association receives from Monsanto.
Genetically modified sugar beets are currently grown in eleven states and on 1.1 million acres.