The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is extending the comment period for a docket to receive information and comments on the use of genome editing techniques to produce new plant varieties that are used for human or animal food. We established the docket through a notice that appeared in the Federal Register of January 19, 2017. We are taking this action in response to requests for an extension to allow interested persons additional time to submit comments.
In the Federal Register of January 19, 2017, we published a notice announcing the establishment of a docket to receive comments on the use of genome editing techniques to produce new plant varieties that are used for human or animal food. We requested these comments because we recognize that developers of new plant varieties, researchers, and other stakeholders may have valuable factual information and data about foods derived from new plant varieties produced using genome editing, which can help inform FDA's thinking for these specific products. The notice also discussed the history of FDA's thinking regarding these products, our long history of consultations with developers, researchers, and other stakeholders, and specific questions and issues for which we invited comments. We provided a 90-day comment period that was scheduled to end on April 19, 2017.
We have received requests for a 60-day extension of the comment period. The requests conveyed concern that the current 90-day comment period does not allow sufficient time to develop a meaningful or thoughtful comments to the questions and issues we presented in the notice.
We have considered the requests and are extending the comment period for 60 days, until June 19, 2017. A 60-day extension allows more time for interested persons to submit comments to the docket on this issue.