A beeting


Many of the most important points about the debate over genetically modified sugar beets were either glossed over or ignored in Matt Jenkins' story "Biotech beet-down" (HCN, 10/12/09).

For example, Jenkins states that Monsanto developed Roundup Ready beets a decade ago but they were put on hold due to public outrage, implying that it was public sentiment, and not regulatory issues, that kept the beet crop GMO-free. If this is so, then why, when they were quietly "deregulated" in 2005, did GMO sugar beets quickly take over?

Jenkins also leaves largely unchallenged the argument that farming with GMO crops is good for the farmer and the environment. Saying the biotech beets "couldn't arrive soon enough" for many farmers and then quoting Duane Grant on their benefits deserves a better rebuttal than a brief mention of Roundup-resistant weeds in other parts of the country.

Jenkins mentions that the Willamette Valley produces beet and chard seed that could be contaminated. However, he fails to point out that organic seed growers here stand to lose their organic certification –– and thus their livelihood –– from a single contamination event from GMO beet seed. There are no safeguards in place to isolate GMO beet-seed fields from other crops.

Carla Wise
Corvallis, Oregon

GMO beets
No to GMOs
No to GMOs
Nov 09, 2009 04:09 PM
GMOs are probably the worst evil facing the world today, for he who controls food controls everything. Let GMOs onto your land and you are saying goodbye to your food sovereignty. Farmers will all become slaves to Big Ag. All Big Biotech cares about is Big Bucks. Don't listen to their lies about feeding the world's hungry. Right! That's why they don't allow farmers to save seeds, instead making them buy them each year. Lies also about research - there is no independent research carried out as that is stipulated in contracts with farmers.
"Invasive" and "useless" are the terms that describe GMOs.
gmo and nongmo
Mark Wright
Mark Wright
Nov 11, 2009 02:22 AM
Kinda depends on the farmer.

Some crops are considered as somewhat easier to grow ( cover alot more acres with alot less time and fuel expended ), using mainly herbicides that gmo crops feature resistence to.

Downside is that since hybrid vigor can be lower, so can yields...sometimes as much as 20 to 30% lower on crops like soy.

Crops like corn...there's plenty of yield potential with both gmo hybrids and non gmo too.

Seems like as long as farmers want to keep paying the "tech" fees with gmo crops...then that is their choice.

Granted others will keep growing conventional crops and not pay tech fees thus stay non gmo too.

Best way to skip gmo is simply learn how to use a rotary hoe more affectively. They're as wide as most sprayers and most crops respond positively to a hoe vs negatively to most any herbicide.

Since most usa consumers do not farm, the best alternative might be to grow a garden. Because most everything in a store is now gmo related either directly or indirectly.

Heck there are even special crop revenue insurance plans for gmo crops now. So with the govt in that game too, it seems like the consumer is forced to purchase whatever is put in front of em.