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USDA Announces Recent Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act Enforcement Actions

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Contact:
R. Andre Bell (301) 734-3853
Lyndsay Cole (970) 494-7410

USDA Announces Decision to Deregulate Genetically Engineered Corn Seed

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2011--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing its determination of nonregulated status for corn genetically engineered (GE) to produce hybrid corn seed that is non-transgenic.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. petitioned APHIS for a determination of nonregulated status for their GE corn event DP-32138-1 in 2008. APHIS prepared a plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) as required by the Plant Protection Act and an environmental assessment (EA) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. On Jan. 5, 2011, both documents and Pioneer's petition were made available for public review and comment, and APHIS received a total of 52 comments from various groups and individuals.

APHIS determined that the corn is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. The finding is based on the agency's analysis of field and laboratory data submitted by Pioneer, references provided in the petition, peer-reviewed publications, information analyzed in the EA, the PPRA and its review of the comments provided by the public. The corn is therefore no longer subject to APHIS regulations.

DP-32138-1 utilizes Pioneer's seed production technology process to improve the efficiency of hybrid corn seed production. The multistep process yields a non-transgenic male-sterile female parent. This non-transgenic material can then be used for hybrid seed production. The process results in a commercial product that does not contain the DP-32138-1 transgenes. Interstate movements and field trials for DP-32138-1 have been conducted under permits issued or notifications acknowledged by APHIS since 2005.

Notice of this decision is published in today's June 28 Federal Register and becomes effective upon publication.

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