Sugar beets are one of the most common genetically modified crops in the USA (click for more info on GMO), with about 95% of the total crop being grown from GMO seeds. The sugar beet seeds which are GMO are engineered to be "Roundup Ready," meaning that Monsanto altered the genetics of normal sugar beet seeds so that the sugar beet producers can spray their crop with the Monsanto synthetic herbicide Roundup (aka glysophate) and easlily kill the weeds while the beets continue to grow.... with the blessings of the US Department of Agriculture.
I'm not encouraging you to buy and eat refined sugar, since it is also contributing to prevalent poor diets and the obesity epidemic, but I'd certainly favor it over artificial sweeteners (like Splenda). I always encourage reducing intake of any sweeteners, and, when necessary, using healthier alternative sweeteners, such as green natural stevia, local honey, vitamin B-rich molasses and sorghum, or agave. (Click the "Ingredients" tab at the page top for more info on words printed in red.)
Read and download the helpful Non-GMO shopping guide here for more excellent useful information.