03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Seeds of Life: Beta Vulgaris (VIDEO)


This is the second installment of an ongoing Food News series titled Seeds of Life. Frank Morton, an organic seed breeder from Philomath, Oregon, shares his concerns over the contamination threat from the introduction of transgenic sugar beet crops into the Willamette Valley where his farm is located. For Morton, his main concern, and the reason for his lawsuit against the USDA (and APHIS), is to protect the purity of his swiss chard organic seed from cross pollination (and thus contamination) with the newly introduced transgenic sugar beet crops being grown in the valley.

In a similar but unrelated lawsuit, a St. Louis court recently found Bayer AG, a German Agrochemical conglomerate liable for contaminating two farmer's rice fields in Texas that resulted from the unintentional escape of Bayer's two transgenic (test) strains of herbicide resistant rice (engineered to be tolerant to Bayer's Liberty brand of herbicide).

With many unknowns still to be determined (over time), it is important to keep pure seed from being contaminated by genetically engineered seed.

To read the complete post and preview the next Seeds of Life video, please visit Cooking Up a Story.