USDA to partially lift RR sugar beet ban?

Federal agriculture officials have released a plan to let farmers plant genetically modified sugar beets while a lawsuit over them is resolved. Farmers fear a partial lifting of a court-ordered RR sugar beet ban won't come in time for next year's crop.

The USDA released a 365-page preliminary report last week, suggesting farmers be allowed to plant Roundup Ready sugar beets under a closely monitored permit process intended to prevent contamination of other crops. Monitoring by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service was one of three options included in the report, and the one preferred by federal officials.

Farmers fear a partial lifting of a court-ordered ban won't come in time for next year's crop.

To read more about the RR sugar beet dilemma, please see the following Associated Press story: USDA plan could partially lift sugar beet ban [3].