The following article is from Capital Press.
By DAVE WILKINS
A USDA plan that would allow farmers to continue growing Roundup Ready sugar beets under strict regulation is receiving plenty of support — and criticism.
More than 250 public comments concerning the plan had been filed as of Nov. 22. The deadline for submitting written comments on the plan is Dec. 6. USDA will release final restrictions after that.
Farmers wrote in to say that their use of the genetically engineered crop is not just a matter of convenience, but is also better for the environment because they use far fewer chemicals.
“Roundup Ready sugar beets have been very important to our farm. The genetically modified beets only require one or two pesticide applications per year and no cultivation,” Rodd Beyer of Wheaton, Minn., said in written comments.
With Roundup Ready beets, Beyer makes far fewer trips across his fields, saving hundreds of gallons of fuel each year, he wrote.
The conventional practice of spraying “a cocktail of four or five chemicals several times,” plus hiring laborers to clean up weeds not killed, “is not a scenario that I or any of my farmer neighbors want to return to,” wrote grower Ted Propp Jr. of Worland, Wyo.
Posted by Haylie Shipp