A federal judge has ordered Monsanto to tear up 256 acres of genetically modified sugar beets in Oregon and Arizona that were to be used to produce seed for the 2012 crop.
The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White, in San Francisco, came in a lawsuit brought by environmental groups over cultivation of sugar beets altered to be ready for application of a popular herbicide, Roundup. The lawsuit alleged that the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued permits for the cultivation of the seed crop without adequate environmental study.
White issued an injunction barring the cultivation. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday he would discuss a potential appeal with the Justice Department.
Monsanto, which owns the intellectual property rights to the technology used to produce the seeds, has said it will appeal.
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