Sweet! We’re beating back GMO Sugar Beets

sugar beet

GMO sugar beets have only been on the market since 2008, but their market share grew rapidly, with over 90% of sugar beets being genetically modified by 2009.  Now, the tide is starting to turn against GMO sugar beets, with the percentage of all U.S. sugar derived from GMO sugar beets dropping from 47 percent to 41 percent in just one year.

GMO sugar beets were opposed from day one by food advocates, who pointed out that the technology was not adequately tested before launch.  The Center for Food Safety sued the USDA for approving the new technology without performing required environmental testing, and won.  However, the USDA let GMO sugar beets go forward despite the ruling.  USDA ultimately issued an environmental report, but that report ignored the broad environmental impacts of GMO sugar beets, including the likelihood that glyphosate-resistant beets would ultimately lead to superweeds that are themselves resistant to glyphosate, resulting in even more toxic pesticides being applied, as well as the spread of GMO beets to non-GMO fields.

In the intervening years, we’ve seen all the downsides of GMO beets, with growing pesticide use and contamination of non-GMO crops.  What wasn’t predicted back in 2008, was the amazing consumer backlash against GMOs that has grown in just a few short years. GMO Insiders have been a big part of that backlash, creating the pressure on companies like Unilever, Hershey, and General Mills.  GMO Insiders were the driving force in getting Hershey to shift to non-GMO sugar for it Hershey Bars and Kisses, Unilever to launch non-GMO Mayo, and General Mills to introduce non-GMO Cheerios.

We’ve proven that consumers increasingly don’t want GMOs, which in turn puts pressure on packaged goods companies to reject GMO ingredients from suppliers.  Ultimately, this means that more and more farmers will be moving away from GMOs, and in some cases, they are moving towards organics to meet growing consumer demand.

Thanks to all the GMO Insiders who are taking action with us to persuade the world’s largest food companies to move away from GMOs.  Together, we’re having a huge impact and turning the tide against GMOs.  Together, we can shift U.S. agriculture away from GMOs and toxins, and grow the market for organics.

Categories: GMOs, good food

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  1. I’m looking for non-GMO, organic beet sugar, in the interest of using a sweetener that grows in my climate zone (eating locally) Does anyone know of any producers, particularly in the Pacific Northwest?

  2. Too bad ignorant folks who just assume GMOs are bad without learning any science can try to get the valid and necessary plant breeding method vilified. It reminds me of a scene out of a Frankenstein movie when the villagers attack the castle with torches and pitchforks because they are afraid of things they don’t understand. I will continue to support companies who do not bend to public pressure and stick to science and evidence based decision making. GMOs are no more evil than any other plant breeding method. The crops grown with this technique are bio-identical to their conventional and organic counterparts.

    • You are actually the ignorant fool. GMO plants are soaked in cancerous pesticides and cause change in gene and cancer lumps. I hope you’ll save enough money to pay for your future treatment.

    • There is plenty of “science” for Ada to cite, also plenty of “science” supporting the view that GM ingredients have very different outcomes. I know it’s difficult for critics of GM crops to FIND reports of the science that deems GM foodstuffs equivalent; and it must be difficult for someone of Ada’s convictions to find reports of the science indicating otherwise. THEY AREN’T LOOKING IN THE SAME PLACE! The short-term feeding studies promoted by GM companies and their university cohorts are reported in journals. The long-term studies reported by activist organizations are to be found in the same sort of journals. So why can’t folks come to agreement? Or even agree that the “science” does not conclusively indicate that these ingredients are safe for ourselves and the animals we eat? For some of us there is another question to address–the abominable behavior of the GM companies with farmers overseas. For starts, watch the second half of “The World According to Monsanto.” Please.

  3. GMOs are actually not identical to conventional crops, and they are leading to an increase in herbicide use and herbicide resistant weeds, They have also never been properly studied for their health impacts. This is why more and more Americans are avoiding GMOs and moving towards organic crops instead.

  4. Yay…Green America. 12/28/15 Minneapolis StarTribune article on the front page of Business section titled “Hershey Says “Bye” to Beet Sugar” mentions (blames) your group. Keep up the good work!

  5. It reminds me of a scene out of a Frankenstein movie when the villagers attack the castle with torches and pitchforks because they are afraid of things they don’t understand.

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