Bill Glasheen wrote:It seems to me the sugar beet growers worked it out amongst themselves so that nobody was contaminating anyone else's plants with the pollen from other varieties.
It's not just the beet growers who have a stake though:
Cross pollination between GM sugar beets and related plants, such as chard and table beets, is a major threat in the valley where sugar beets are the predominant crop. Morton says there are many areas where chard and sugar beet fields are “rubbing up against one another.” The two plants cross pollinate because they are the same species.
Yes the pollination goes both ways, but the organic chard folks aren't doing anything to harm the beets, so the harm only goes one way.
The other issue, which maybe you're more likely to agree with me is legal:
Sugar beet seed producers wanted to establish a six-mile isolation distance between GM sugar beets and non-GM crops in the valley, based on research showing such a distance was necessary to keep GMO contamination down to .01%. They wanted the distance to protect themselves from potential lawsuits in case of contamination problems."
This pattern where some farmer uses GMO stuff and then it pollinates the neighbors fields then Monsanto sues because of a patent violation (their genes in your stuff) is a travesty, it seems to me.