In June, 2012, APHIS published a final PPRA and EIS for RR sugar beets. The final PPRA scientifically examined the plant pest characteristics of the RR sugar beet variety and found the variety is not likely to pose a plant pest risk to agricultural crops or other plants or plant products. Under the Plant Protection Act and APHIS’ regulations, the Agency is specifically required to evaluate if RR sugar beets are a plant pest to agricultural crops or other plants or plant products.
APHIS’ final EIS, conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act, evaluated the potential environmental impacts of three alternatives prior to determining whether to approve the petition for nonregulated status submitted by the developers of RR sugar beets. In its record of decision, APHIS selects the second alternative analyzed in the final EIS; this was the alternative in which RR sugar beets are approved for nonregulated status because the variety is not likely to pose a plant pest risk. APHIS’ selection of the second alternative analyzed is consistent with the Agency’s authority with regard to determining the plant pest risk for RR sugar beets.
This is APHIS’ final regulatory determination in this matter. Since a district court decision in 2009, APHIS has worked hard to complete this final EIS to ensure it is sound and comprehensive. APHIS' determination of nonregulated status of RR sugar beets reflects this hard work and will become effective upon publication of the Agency's notice of availability of the determination and record of decision in the Federal Register on July 20, 2012. APHIS’ determination and record of decision on RR sugar beets are now available to the public at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/news.shtml.
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Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet and through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds.
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