Cindy Ragin (301) 734-3255
USDA DEREGULATES GENETICALLY ENGINEERED COTTON
WASHINGTON, May 21, 2009--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced that after a thorough review of scientific evidence it will deregulate the genetically engineered (GE) cotton line GHB614. The cotton and its progeny can now be moved freely and planted without the requirement of permits or other regulatory oversight by APHIS.
APHIS deregulated the cotton after concluding that it does not present a plant pest risk. APHIS’ determination was based on an analysis of scientific data, comments received from the public and an environmental assessment (EA) and a pest risk assessment.
APHIS regulates GE products in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition to APHIS review, BCS has submitted the appropriate documents to both EPA and FDA to address the requirements specific to each agency. EPA requires that all pesticides, including herbicides, be registered prior to distribution or sale, unless exempt from EPA regulation. Residue tolerances for pesticides are also established by EPA, and FDA enforces those tolerances. FDA provides a consultation process to ensure that any human and animal feed safety issues are resolved prior to commercial distribution of a GE food.
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