Date: August 6, 2019
Dear BRS Stakeholder,
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is deregulating a canola variety, developed by BASF Plant Science L.P. (BASF), genetically engineered (GE) to convert oleic acid to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), as well as for resistance to an imidazolinone herbicide.
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.
As part of the petition process, APHIS prepared a draft plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) and draft environmental assessment (EA), and made these documents available for a 30-day public review and comment period on April 4, 2019.
APHIS considered all of the public comments and conducted a thorough review of the potential environmental impacts in its final EA pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), reaching a finding of no significant impact (FONSI).
APHIS concluded in its final PPRA that this GE canola variety is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk to agricultural crops or other plants in the United States and is deregulating it effective the date of publication of the Federal Register notice.
A copy of APHIS’ final PPRA, EA, FONSI and supporting documents can be found on the News and Information page of the BRS website.
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.