Wednesday, 1 December 2010

US Federal Court Orders First-Ever Destruction of a GMO Crop

San Francisco, CA – November 30, 2010 – Centre for Food Safety.
Genetically Engineered Sugar Beet Seed Crop Must be Removed!
Finds Government and Monsanto rushed to illegally plant herbicide resistant crop.

Cdn. Biotechnology Action Network
Press Statement, December 1, 2010: Yesterday a US federal district judge ordered Monsanto's genetically engineered sugarbeet seedlings be uprooted. This is the first court-ordered destruction of a GE crop in the US. The decision (November 30, 2010) follows a challenge from farmer and environmental groups based on the risks of contamination. The judge noted that non-GE crops were at risk and that the US Department of Agriculture, by allowing September plantings, tried to circumvent his prior ruling that the sugarbeets were illegal, pending an environmental assessment.

Below is a letter from CBAN to Canadian sugar company Lantic, and a press release from US group Center for Food Safety which represented groups in the legal challenge.



Edward Makin
President and CEO, Lantic Inc.
4026, Notre-Dame Street East
Montréal, Québec, H1W 2K3
Fax: (514) 527 1318

RE: Request for Lantic to phase out GE sugar following US court-ordered destruction of Monsanto's genetically engineered sugarbeets

December 1, 2010

Dear Mr. Makin,

We are writing to bring your attention to the new court-ordered destruction of genetically engineered (GE) sugarbeet seedlings in the United States (November 30, 2010) and to ask that Lantic plant only non-GE sugarbeet seeds in 2011, reversing your 2009 decision to process GE sugar in Canada.

Lantic Inc. is currently the only Canadian sugar company that processes GE sugarbeet. This is an unacceptable situation for Canadian consumers.

In correspondence in 2009, CBAN warned Lantic that the the GE sugarbeets were highly controversial, were accompanied by many serious concerns, and would meet with widespread consumer opposition. We requested a meeting to discuss these issues and repeatedly provided information about the risks of GE sugarbeets to Lantic and to the Alberta farmers who grow sugarbeet for Lantic. Though this correspondence was met with silence from Lantic, we hope you will now pay sufficient attention to this critical issue in order to phase out your use of Monsanto's genetically engineered sugarbeet.

We request that you take urgent action to ensure that sugar in Canada is reverted to its previous non-GE status.  We trust that Lantic will want to avoid being isolated globally as the only producer of GE sugar. For your information, please find below a US press release describing the court decision in brief.

Sincerely, Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
431 Gilmour Street, Second Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.6
Fax: 613 241 2506