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USDA HOLDS BIOTECHNOLOGY REGULATORY STAKEHOLDER MEETING

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Contact:
Andrea McNally (301) 734-0602

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2009--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced that it will be holding a stakeholder meeting to discuss its current biotechnology regulatory activities on Nov. 17, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Riverdale, Md.

“We work hard to ensure that our stakeholders are regularly updated on our Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) program's activities and have the opportunity to provide us with their input and feedback,” said APHIS Administrator Cindy Smith. “This meeting allows stakeholders to not only hear first hand from our BRS staff about a wide variety of issues, improvements and initiatives taking place across the program, but to also provide us with their feedback as we implement those activities.”

BRS staff will share information about: the program's new organizational roles; e-Permits online system; the notification and permit scientific review process as well as compliance activities. The staff will also engage stakeholders in discussions about the implementation of the Biotechnology Quality Management System, improvements in developing National Environmental Policy Act analyses and the process for petitioning the Agency for nonregulated status. BRS will consider the input received at this meeting when implementing these program activities.

The stakeholder meeting will be held in the Conference Center of the USDA Center at Riverside, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, Md. For directions or facilities information, call (301) 734-8010.

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