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USDA’s Biotechnology Deregulation Process

Posted by APHIS Staff in Animals Plants
Jun 28, 2011

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) works diligently to ensure that genetically engineered (GE) organisms such as Pioneer’s hybrid corn seed is just as safe for agriculture and the environment as traditionally bred crop varieties.

Our biotechnology deregulation process is a complex method of evaluation that we take very seriously. Our involvement begins when an organization wishes to import, move interstate, or field-test a GE plant, which is done under our permitting and notification system.

After several years of field testing and data collection, preparation for commercialization begins. At this point, a request for the determination of nonregulated status with APHIS is filed, which means enough data has been gathered to demonstrate the new crop variety is not a plant pest, poses no threat to agriculture or the environment, and should no longer be regulated by USDA.

These steps toward a determination of nonregulated status were strictly followed by APHIS during Pioneer’s petition for their GE corn event DP-32138-1. APHIS prepared a plant pest risk assessment as required by the Plant Protection Act and an environmental assessment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. APHIS determined that the corn is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk and is therefore no longer subject to APHIS regulations.

Category/Topic: Animals Plants