Genetically modified sugar beets expected to be in widespread use in U.S. soon
The U.S. sweetener industry may soon have a new sugar daddy as it gears up for the widespread rollout of genetically modified sugar beets. GM sugar beets have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture since 2005, but resistance from end-users such as chocolatiers Hershey’s and Mars had disrupted their widespread use. But now with that resistance largely overcome, the sweetener industry is gearing up for a quiet rollout of sugar produced from Monsanto’s herbicide-resistant sugar beets. Much of the 1.3 million acres of sugar beets produced in the U.S. each year are expected to go over to the GM side as early as next season. “Basically, we have not run into resistance,” said David Berg, president of American Crystal Sugar, the U.S.’s largest sugar beet processor. “We really think that consumer attitudes have come to accept food from biotechnology.” Besides, it’s not like sweeteners are widely used in the food supply or anything.