The root of all evil: genetically engineered beets

Ahh, Monsanto, how I detest thee…As if it isn’t difficult enough to avoid HFCS I now have to avoid sugar. That’s right folks, Monsanto has fracked with our domestic sugar production by genetically engineering a sugar beet seed that is “roundup ready”. In human speak that means farmers can pour on the Round-up herbicide, also manufactured by Monsanto, in order to increase their yield. Do you think this might cause some problems? I do and so do others:

In addition to the risk of crop contamination, scientific studies have shown that applications of Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbicide, increase significantly when Roundup Ready crops are grown. Increased use of this herbicide is instrumental in the creation of Roundup-resistant “super weeds”.

“Contrary to the industry’s mantra that these plants reduce chemical use, studies have shown that herbicide use actually increases with the planting of Roundup Ready crops,” said Kevin Golden, of the Center for Food Safety. “Just as overuse of antibiotics eventually breeds drug resistant bacteria, overuse of Roundup eventually breeds Roundup-resistant weeds. When that happens, farmers are forced to rely on even more toxic herbicides to control those weeds.” The Center For Food Safety

These GE beet seeds will hit the dirt this spring and be in our groceries by the end of the year. If you’ve read What Geeks Eat… you know that I bake, I like the white stuff, I admit it…I love sugar. I usually buy organic sugar but sometimes it just isn’t possible. I also assumed that sugar produced here in the US had fewer carbon miles than the organic, fair-trade sugar produced by a sugar co-op in Malawi…but now that I’ve fully considered it I think I’ve always been wrong. What do you think?