A federal judge has told the USDA that they should’ve slowed down — and considered the environment — when the agency approved genetically modified sugar beets, which have recently caused an uproar here in Boulder County.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White ruled Monday evening that the USDA has to go back and produce the environmental impact statement that the agency should have worked on before.
Last December, six Boulder County farmers asked for permission to plant Roundup Ready sugar beets on the open space land they lease from the county. Since the county already allows GMO corn — 1,500 acres of open space is planted with it this year — the farmers thought the request wouldn’t be too big a deal.
But the issue blew up, thanks in part to a group of riled up leaders from the area’s organic and natural food industry. In August, the county commissioners agreed to delay the controversial decision on whether to allow the GMO beets while the county debates what to do with genetically modified crops in general. Read more