According to the Boulder County Business Report, this week Boulder County, Colorado commissioners voted to allow genetically modified (GM) corn and sugar beets to be grown on open space owned by the county.
In response to the decision, GM crop proponents said that “science shows such crops are safe, and that they help farmers get better yields with fewer chemicals.” Read more.
Science Wins Again: USDA approves partial deregulation of sugar beets
The USDA approved partial deregulation of genetically modified sugar beets while they complete a full environmental impact statement, marking the second regulatory victory for biotech crops in a week, Reuters reports. Following the approval of GM alfalfa last week, the USDA has agreed to allow the commercial planting of Roundup Ready sugar beets under closely controlled conditions. “After conducting an environmental assessment, accepting and reviewing public comments and conducting a plant pest risk assessment, APHIS has determined that the Roundup Ready sugar beet root crop, when grown under APHIS imposed conditions, can be partially deregulated without posing a plant pest risk or having a significant effect on the environment,” said Michael Gregoire, deputy administrator for APHIS’ biotechnology regulatory services. Read more.
Top Government Official in India Supports Biotech to Improve Ag Production
According to Food & Beverage News, a top government official at the ‘AgBio’ 2011-Global Summit, India urged scientists to explore biotechnology solutions for improving the country’s agricultural production. He highlighted the potential for biotechnology to help address environmental challenges and resource scarcities. “Besides developing new technologies for wise and judicious use of water sources, there was also the need to develop new varieties capable of withstanding droughts and floods,” said Dr. P. Rama Mohana Rao, Principal Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner, Government of Tamil Nadu. Dr. Rao also discussed the role of biotechnology in helping to improve crop yields. Read more.