Aug 20, 2010 9:57 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Ruling over biotech beets threatens nation's sugar supply

Some sugar beet growers are uneasy as they wait for federal officials to decide the next step for a crop that provides half the nation's sugar supply.

A federal judge in California issued a ruling earlier this month that prevents future planting of sugar beets with genetically modified seeds until the U.S. Department of Agriculture studies the effect the crop could have on other food.

Industry officials say farmers need to be patient and let the process play out.

Duane Grant, the chairman of Idaho's Snake River Sugar Co., fears there aren't enough conventional seeds to plant next year. But North Dakota sugar beet farmer Robert Green is optimistic a solution will be found.


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