The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has permitted Monsanto to proceed with the planting of genetically modified beet. Monsanto’s GM sugar beets are resistant to herbicides aimed at eliminating unwanted weeds. The USDA has granted the approval on a temporary basis until an environmental impact assessment is complete.
The aim is to avoid a drop in beet sugar production of up to 20% of US sugar. This amounts to approximately 1.5 million tonnes. Beet sugar production accounts for 50% of US sugar.