The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking public comment on two documents related to the potential deregulation of a canola variety genetically engineered (GE) to convert oleic acid to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), as well as for resistance to an imidazolinone herbicide. The documents are a draft Environmental Assessment (dEA) that analyzes the potential issues and environmental impacts, and a draft Plant Pest Risk Assessment (dPPRA) that examines any plant pest risks.
DHA and EPA are omega-3 fatty acids that support brain development and protect neurological function. This GE canola variety accumulates a substantially higher concentration of DHA and EPA in the seed oil compared to other conventional canola varieties. In their petition, BASF states that LBFLFK canola provides a plant-based and scalable production system for omega-3 fatty acids and will be another source of EPA and DHA for consumers as either a food ingredient or as an aquaculture feed ingredient.
This notice is on display in today’s Federal Register. The public will be able to submit comments on the dEA and dPPRA for 30 days through May 6, 2019, at: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2018-0014.
APHIS will thoroughly review and consider all public input submitted during the comment period, and use the information as we work to complete, and then publish, final environmental documents and our regulatory determination.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.