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No market for GM sugarbeets

April 30, 2001 -- Cropchoice news) -- Hershey Foods and M&M/Mars have asked growers to avoid planting transgenic sugarbeets, not because they question the technology, but rather that many consumers reject food with such ingredients.

The stand that the two companies are taking to appease consumers shows that the market for transgenic sugar is limited. It's hurting sugarbeet breeders who spent millions of dollars to produce seed that they can't sell.

Joe Dahmer, president of Minnesota-based Betaseed Inc., told the Wall Street Journal: "We'll probably end up having to discard a lot of seed. We don't see any prospects for selling it in 2002 or anytime soon." The company engineered its breeding beet lines with pesticide resistance.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Progressive Farmer