The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is deregulating a canola variety, developed by BASF Plant Science L.P. (BASF), genetically engineered (GE) to convert oleic acid to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), as well as for resistance to an imidazolinone herbicide.
DHA and EPA are omega-3 fatty acids that support brain development and protect neurological function. This GE canola variety accumulates a substantially higher concentration of DHA and EPA in the seed oil compared to other conventional canola varieties. In their petition, BASF states that LBFLFK canola provides a plant-based and scalable production system for omega-3 fatty acids and will be another source of EPA and DHA for consumers as either a food ingredient or as an aquaculture feed ingredient.
As part of the petition process, APHIS prepared a draft plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) and draft environmental assessment (EA), and made these documents available for a 30-day public review and comment period on April 4, 2019.
APHIS considered all of the public comments and conducted a thorough review of the potential environmental impacts in its final EA pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), reaching a finding of no significant impact (FONSI).
APHIS concluded in its final PPRA that this GE canola variety is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk to agricultural crops or other plants in the United States and is deregulating it effective August 7, 2019.