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The completed EA concluded that RRSB "(1) Exhibits no plant pathogenic properties; (2) is no more likely to become weedy than the nontransgenic parental line or other cultivated sugar beet; (3) is unlikely to increase the weediness potential of any other cultivated or wild species with which it can interbreed; (4) will not cause damage to raw or processed agricultural commodities; (5) will not harm threatened or endangered species or organisms that are beneficial to agriculture; and (6) should not reduce the ability to control pests and weeds in sugar beet or other crops," (USDA APHIS, 2005, p.13008).
The finding of no significant impact in the EA and resulting decision not to complete an EIS was questioned by opponents of RRSB. All prior crops produced through genetic modification--corn, soybeans, and cotton--had been approved after the completion of a full EIS rather than an EA.
In 2008, the Center for Food Safety, Organic Seed Alliance, Sierra Club, and High Mowing Organic Seeds filed a complaint alleging that USDA and APHIS had not followed the necessary requirements in deregulating RRSB, thereby violating NEPA and PPA.
On September 21, 2009 Judge Jeffrey White of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that APHIS's decision to deregulate RRSB without an EIS was not valid, given the concerns regarding the potential environmental impacts (Center for Food Safety, et al.
On March 16, 2010 the court denied a motion for an injunction that attempted to disallow the use of RRSB in any production stages (USDA APHIS, 2011).
Figure 3 Timeline of Regulatory Decisions on Roundup Ready Sugar Beats March 17, 2005 Roundup Ready Sugar Beets (RRSB) are approved for use by APHIS.
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- RRSP Contribution
- RRSP Contributions
- RRSP Deduction
- RRSP Deductions