The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced the availability of a final environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) and will concurrently issue a permit for the field release of genetically engineered (GE) diamondback moths. The moths are genetically engineered for repressible female lethality and to express red fluorescence as a marker. The purpose of the field release is to assess the feasibility and efficacy of these moths in reducing populations of diamondback moth, a known plant pest and serious threat to agriculture. Based on its FONSI, APHIS has determined that an environmental impact statement need not be prepared.
Notice of these actions will be published in the Federal
Register on July 7, 2017.
On April 19, 2017, APHIS published in the Federal
Register a notice in which we announced the availability, for public review and comment, of an EA that examined the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed field release of these GE diamondback moths. We solicited comments on the EA for 30 days ending May 19, 2017. Written responses to the comments we received on the EA can be found in the finding of no significant impact (FONSI).