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USDA DEREGULATES CORN GENETICALLY ENGINEERED TO RESIST INSECTS

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WASHINGTON, April 20, 2010 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has determined a corn line developed by Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc, which has been genetically engineered for insect resistance, is no longer considered a regulated article under its regulations governing the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms.

In making an informed determination on this petition for deregulation, APHIS used the best available scientific information, data and expert advice, including comments received on the notice announcing the availability of the petition and the associated environmental assessment (EA) and plant pest risk assessment (PPRA). APHIS also evaluated data submitted by Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc in its petition for a determination of nonregulated status. APHIS determined in its PPRA that the Syngenta corn does not pose a plant pest risk. APHIS also carefully considered the possible environmental impacts of this action in its EA and based on the reviews concluded that the Syngenta corn does not pose a significant impact on the human environment.

Notice of this action is published in today's April 20 Federal Register and it becomes effective upon publication.

On Sept.10, 2007, APHIS received a petition seeking a determination of nonregulated status from Syngenta Biotechnologies Inc., of Research Triangle Park, N.C., for corn, which is genetically engineered for insect resistance. In a notice published in the Federal Register on Jan. 13, 2010, APHIS announced the availability of Syngenta's petition and the associated draft EA and plant pest risk assessment for public comment. APHIS solicited comments for 60 days ending on March 15, 2010, on whether the genetically engineered corn is or could be a plant pest and on the EA and the risk assessment. APHIS received 35 comments during the comment period. APHIS has addressed the issues raised during the comment period and has provided responses to these comments as an attachment to the finding of no significant impact under the National Environmental Policy Act.

APHIS is responsible for protecting U.S. agriculture and the environment from animal and plant pests and has overseen the deregulation of 80 GE products.

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