Wednesday, March 11, 2009

USDA/APHIS Comment Period for Proposed Rule on Genetically Engineered Organisms

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has asked for comment on its proposal to revise APHIS regulations on the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of genetically engineered organisms (74 Fed. Reg. 2907 (Jan. 16, 2009)).  APHIS requested comment on the following four issues:

(1) Scope of the regulation and which [Genetically Engineered (“GE”)]  organisms should be regulated;

(2) Incorporation into APHIS regulations of the Plant Protection Act’s noxious weed authority;

(3) Elimination of notification procedure and revision of the permit procedure;

(4) Environmental release permit categories and regulation of GE crops that produce pharmaceutical and industrial compounds.

APHIS is planning for April public meeting(s), but the dates of the meeting(s) are yet to be announced.  APHIS is also extending the comment period for the proposed rule until 60 days after the April meeting(s).

Comments may be sent postal or commercial delivery (two copies) to Docket No. APHIS-2008-0023, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.  Comments may also be submitted on the Federal eRulemaking portal.

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