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The Green Life: Monsanto Takes a Beeting

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December 01, 2010

Monsanto Takes a Beeting

Monsanto beets.jpg When forced to eat their vegetables, children classically entertain several key methods of avoidance: a) hiding them under a napkin b) feeding them to a willing dog c) holding them in their mouths until they get to the bathroom and spitting them in the toilet. The swift justice from parents is often feared, but when it comes to enforcing the eating of veggies, anything goes.

You'd be surprised how ineffectual the law can be when it's just blatantly ignored.

That pesky, waste-dumping, official-bribing, often-being-sued Monsanto Corporation was doing just that, after U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White told its executives that growing their genetically modified "roundup ready" beets was against the law. Far be it, though, for the comically corrupt company to letting the ruling or inadequate USDA inspection stop them from selling their beets.

So Judge White ordered once more that the sugar beets are illegal, with the fresh addendum that they be  wiped off the face of the earth. Monsanto has responded, complaining that to ditch their sugar-beet efforts would cost the company $2 billion. While 90% of U.S. sugar beets are genetically engineered, Monsanto's seeds have a history of dying off in huge numbers, as well as a slew of other offenses, so sympathy is a bit hard to come by.

The destruction of Monsanto's sugar beets is a brief victory in children's war on vegetables, but as far as genetically altered crops go, Judge White's ruling was a positive step in a much broader, less juvenile direction.

--Justin Klugh

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