USDA seeks comment on assessment for genetically engineered soybean

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WASHINGTON —The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is accepting comments on a plant pest risk assessment and a draft environmental assessment (EA) that addresses a request from the Monsanto Company seeking a determination of nonregulated status.

Request

The request is for soybeans that have been genetically engineered (GE) to have a modified fatty acid profile and a tolerance to the herbicide glyphosate.

Monsanto’s GE soybean, event MON 87705, produces soybean seeds with lower levels of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and higher levels of monounsaturated fatty acid than those found in non-modified soybean seeds. MON 87705 also expresses tolerance to glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Roundup.

Risk assessment

APHIS’ risk assessment indicates that MON 87705 is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. APHIS is making available for public comment the Monsanto petition, the agency’s risk assessment and the draft EA for the proposed determination of nonregulated status.

Regulation

MON 87705 is currently under APHIS regulation. Interstate movements, importations and field testing have been conducted under notifications acknowledged by APHIS.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Aug. 29. You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

• Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0046 to submit or view comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.

• Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2011-0046, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

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