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Judge Overturns the Government’s Approval of Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered Sugar Beets

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The New York Times reports that Judge Jeffrey S. White of Federal District Court in San Francisco has overturned U.S. approval of Monsanto’s GMO sugar beet sold as “Roundup Ready.” White ruled that the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service violated environmental law by failing to assess whether the beets would eventually share their genes with other crops.

There is no wall high enough to protect other crops from the intrusion of GMO genes. ANH-UK has published an excellent comment on the importance of Judge White’s ruling.
One way consumers have chosen to avoid GMO crops is to eat organic. Apparently, even the American Medical Association is now on board with organic foods, having recently adopted a policy to support a sustainable food system. Industrial food production is a significant contributor to increased antibiotic resistance, climate change, and air and water pollution. The AMA’s new policy notes that locally produced and organic foods “reduce the use of fuel, decrease the need for packaging and resultant waste disposal, preserve farmland . . . [and] the related reduced fuel emissions contribute to cleaner air and in turn, lower the incidence of asthma attacks and other respiratory problems.”
For decades, the AMA failed to acknowledge the connection between diet, food and nutrition with health. “Physicians now recognize that one cannot easily separate the health of food from how healthfully that food is produced,” said Dr. David Wallinga, who attended the meeting. The William T. Grant Foundation Distinguished Fellow in Food Systems and Public Health at the University of Minnesota, and a member of Health Care Without Harm, Wallinga added: “The profligate use of antibiotics and fossil fuels in today’s food system, for example, is directly linked to climate change and to the epidemic of antibiotic resistant infections, in hospitals and in communities”.

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