USDA Considering De-Regulating New Monsanto GE Corn Product
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that based on its preliminary risk assessment, a new genetically engineered corn product created by Monsanto designed to produce increased ear biomass is not likely to present a plant pest risk and is being considered for commercial approval.
Monsanto’s petition for the corn product was initially published in January of this year, and the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) received public comments regarding the petition until March 23.
In November 2011 APHIS made a commitment to facilitate a speedier timeline for biotechnology approvals through integrating a standardized protocol and streamlining its process. Under its updated process, APHIS states that it will be able to announce a regulatory status decision within 12 to 15 months.
The USDA stated that it addressed and considered all issued brought forth in the public comments including “contamination of conventional crop production”, and “the potential for disruption of trade due to the presence of unwanted genetically engineered commodities in exports”.
The findings of the USDA’s preliminary risk assessment and a draft of the environmental assessment by APHIS are available for public review. Comments will be accepted for 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register.