R. Andre Bell (301) 734-3853
Lyndsay Cole (970) 494-7410
WASHINGTON, June 28, 2011--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking public comment on a plant pest risk assessment and a draft environmental assessment (EA) to address a request from the Monsanto Company seeking a determination of nonregulated status. The request is for soybeans that have been genetically engineered (GE) to be insect resistant.
Monsanto's GE soybean, event MON 87701, expresses an insecticidal protein, Cry1Ac, to protect it from lepidopteran insect damage. Event MON 87701 is currently under APHIS regulation. Interstate movements and field trials of MON 87701 have been conducted under permits issued or notifications acknowledged by APHIS since 2002.
APHIS' risk assessment indicates that Monsanto's soybeans are unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. APHIS is making available for public comment the Monsanto petition, the agency's risk assessment and the draft EA for the requested determination of nonregulated status.
APHIS has prepared this draft EA to consider the potential environmental impacts of a determination of nonregulated status for event MON 87701. Preparation of the draft EA is consistent with the Council on Environmental Quality's regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act.
The notice of availability of the risk assessment, draft EA and the petition is published in today's June 28 Federal Register.
Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Aug. 29. You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
• Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to
www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0038 to submit or view comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.
• Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2011-0038, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.
Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet and through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. Go to the APHIS news release page at www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom and click on the RSS feed link.