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Sugarbeets and Biotechnology

Sugarbeet Mound

In 2005, the United States Department of Agriculture approved the commercial use of genetically engineered (GE) sugarbeets. Since then, our growers have used GE sugarbeets with a minor genetic change to tolerate the herbicide glyphosate. This allows farmers to use a limited amount of herbicide to eliminate weeds while not damaging the sugarbeet.

Thanks to this technology, growing sugarbeets now requires fewer and safer pesticides, less fuel, less water, and a smaller carbon footprint. Growing GE sugarbeets allows farmers to grow more sugarbeets on less land while using fewer chemicals.

In the past 20 years, our growers have used 85 percent less pesticides and reduced diesel fuel use by 60 percent per ton of beets produced thanks to this technology.

Growers have also produced 57 percent more tons of sugarbeets per acre and 67 percent more pounds of sugar per acre.

The sugar (sucrose) in GE sugarbeets is molecularly and chemically identical to conventional sugarbeets, sugarcane and organic sugarcane.

The overwhelming consensus of scientific experts and organizations around globe is that GE crops are safe to eat, have the same nutrition and composition as conventional crops, and have no links to new allergies or diseases.

The World Health Organization, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and the American Medical Association have all conducted comprehensive studies proving the environmental benefits of GE crops and their suitability for human consumption. We encourage you to study the facts and draw your own conclusions.

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