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Published March 31, 2011, 11:00 AM

American Crystal to Plant Biotech Beets Again

Updated with video
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.

By: Associated Press,

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.

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