GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — American Crystal Sugar’s board of directors has decided to have the cooperative’s farmer members plant biotech sugar beet seed again this year, despite a federal court challenge by opponents of genetically modified beets.

The Red River Valley co-op is the nation’s largest sugar beet firm. The past three years it has used the seed that is engineered to withstand the popular weed killer Roundup.

The government has approved the use of Roundup Ready beet seed while putting out rules on how it must be used. Crystal President David Berg tells the Grand Forks Herald that it’s an agreement the co-op can live with.

Opponents of biotech crops fear harm to the environment and other crops. Proponents say they can save farmers time and money, and help keep food prices low.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  1. Mark says:

    And again, Let’s mess around genetically because it will increase yields and save costs. But what costs? We are now seeing problems with the use of atrazine on corn, and other problems with other pestacides. As an individual with a degree in Agriculture, I feel it is time to start looking harder at increasing the use and marketing of organics. We need to make them more redily available, as well as affordable to the consumer.

    When I was in school, I was one of the first ones to argue for the Gen/Mod group, as well as increased uses of pesticides to improve profit and yields. But after so many years of seeing more problems arise, I feel it is time to start to mlook at alternative, and especially organics.

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