GMO beet yield drops in US; Monsanto raises seed price 22 pct

By Rady Ananda

At the World Association of Beet and Cane Growers (WABCG) conference held in Cambridge, UK July 19-21, growers from the US, where 95% of beets are genetically modified, admitted that GMO beets showed reduced yields and cost more to produce than last year.

A June 2010 US Department of Agriculture report shows that yields dropped from 26.8 tons per acre in 2008-09 to 25.7 tpa in 2009-10.  Worsening conditions for farmers, the cost of production went up after Monsanto raised seed prices 22%.

William Baldwin, a director at the American Crystal Sugar Company, called the price increase “brutal,” reports AgriMoney.

WABCG, which promotes genetically engineered crops, reported that 130 delegates from over 20 nations attended its tenth conference.

Monsanto denied all negative comments about its product, reports AgriMoney.

Monsanto’s GM beets came under fire last year when a Northern California district court ruled that the USDA had unlawfully deregulated Monsanto’s sugarbeets, which are genetically engineered to withstand its herbicide Roundup.

Despite that the court found that Roundup Ready sugar beets “may cross-pollinate with non-genetically engineered sugar beets and related Swiss chard and table beets,” and “may significantly affect the environment,” in March, Judge Jeffrey White allowed planting to go forward while the federal government prepares an Environmental Impact Statement.

The court will hear arguments in August on whether to ban the GM beets.


AgriMoney, “Monsanto hits back at claims over biotech beet,” 28 Jul 2010.–2038.html

Rady Ananda, “USDA opens public comments on Monsanto’s H1-7 GM beet,” 19 Jun 2010.

Center for Food Safety, “Court Rules in GMO Sugar Beet Case,” 16 Mar 2010

USDA Beet Yields, Table 14:

World Association of Beet and Cane Growers, “Final Statement: 10th World Sugar Conference,” n.d.

12 responses to “GMO beet yield drops in US; Monsanto raises seed price 22 pct

  1. Hi Rady,

    Lucky you to be in UK at the conference.

    Several months ago, a worker in WF told me that ALL sugar in products is from these GM beets. Horrific. I must confess that sometimes I do eat sugar, but now make sure that it says organic cane sugar. Any info you have about this, warmly welcomed and appreciated.

  2. This ought to be no surprise, since Corporations are vested in controlling populations by controlling food access. Remember, there’s also molasses, maple syrup and honey. We are not forced to eat their degraded beet sugar.

  3. Sorry that I was not aware of this conference, would have wanted to be there even to be outside, if not able to get inside, to protest about GM.

    Would have liked to have seen/heard Monsanto representative explain the damage done to human beings with its GM and Agent Orange used on Vietnam.

  4. Great reporting Rady.

    I have been following GMO Sugar Beets in Michigan. I have since created The Ann Arbor Sugar Beet Project, which is a group of gardeners who are growing non-gmo sugar beets for home beet sugar making.

    This is our first year, and to be honest, we are not sure if we will get any sugar for our efforts, but that is not stopping us.

    Here is more info


  5. Pingback: GMO beet yield drops in US; Monsanto raises seed price 22 pct « Last One Eating

  6. Pingback: Do you think that Obama is having a fresh veggie garden at the White house because he is afraid of our food? | tea house

  7. Hi Rady, Great article. Apparently the uptake of GM sugar beet seeds by US farmers has been so quick as there are only 2 companies that supply sugar beet seed. They contracted their growers to grow GM so farmers had the choice of GM sugarbeet or nothing. So much for market choice.

    Hear it from a farmers mouth in this radio interview:

    (4-29-10 Frank Morton, Farmer, Organic vs. GMO seed).

  8. Pingback: World Wide News Flash

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