Our Position on Biotechnology

In 2005, the United States Department of Agriculture approved the commercial use of genetically engineered (GE) sugarbeets.  Since 2008, our 750 plus growers have used GE sugarbeets, which have been engineered by the introduction of a slightly modified version of a gene that naturally occurs in all plants. That precise, minor genetic change allows the sugarbeets to tolerate the herbicide glyphosate without disrupting the sugarbeet’s physiology.  The sugarbeet has otherwise not been changed, and sugar (sucrose), whether from GE sugarbeets, conventional sugarbeets, or sugar cane, is molecularly and chemically identical.

Amalgamated Sugar supports the use of agricultural practices that accomplish the following objectives:
  • Provide safe, abundant and nutritious food.
  • Decrease environmental impacts.
  • Provide healthy working conditions for employees.
  • Preserve soil fertility.
  • Maintain the commercial sustainability of farming.
  • Better the lives of human beings.
Since 2008, GE sugarbeets have significantly advanced each of these objectives:
  • Our growers produce safe and nutritious sugar that is used to feed America. Since 1996, they have produced 67% more pounds of sugar per acre, and 57% more tons of sugarbeets per acre.
  • In the past 20 years, our growers have applied 85% less pesticides and used 60% less diesel fuel per ton of beets, reducing impacts to the environment and creating a safer environment for employees.
  • GE sugarbeets allow our growers to engage in less tillage of the soil, reducing CO2 emissions and topsoil erosion, and protecting soil integrity.
  • Genetic engineering allows our growers to remain commercially viable and to produce a safe, affordable product at reduced costs to consumers. 
  • GE sugarbeets better the lives of human beings by producing more food using safer, more cost effective technology.
Farmers have adopted innovative technologies for centuries, including advances in machinery, equipment, plant breeding, and weed and insect management.  GE sugarbeets are another significant advancement in farming technology that produce great benefits for consumers, farmers and the public at large.