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Food safety, environmental, and corporate watchdog groups recently launched the Non-Genetically Modified Beet Sugar Registry, which lists 70 grocery chains and food producers who have committed to not use or sell GM beet sugar.

By signing on to the Registry, companies pledge to not support the introduction of sugar from GM beets, to avoid using GM beet sugar in their products, and to ask the sugar beet industry to not introduce GM beet sugar into the food supply.

The economic viability of non-GMO and organic beet and chard farmers is also in jeopardy. “GM sugar beets will inevitably cross-pollinate with related crops-such as table beets and chard-that are grown in close proximity,” said Tom Stearns, president of High Mowing Organic Seeds. “Overseas markets have already rejected other GM products, so the economic future of many of our nation’s farmers is being needlessly risked.”

Stearns’ company is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the US Department of Agriculture to stop sales of GM sugar beet seed.

Companies that have signed on to the Registry include Organic Valley Family of Farms, WholeSoy, Inc., Pure Fun Confections, Blue Marble Brands (a subsidiary of United Natural Foods), Equal Exchange, KFM Foods International, and New England Natural Bakers, among others.

The Registry is available at .