APHIS Comment Deadline: Determination of Nonregulated Status of Cotton Genetically Engineered for Insect Resistance

Monday, November 25, 2019 - 5:00pm

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking public comments on a petition they received from Monsanto Company seeking a determination of nonregulated status for cotton designated as MON 88702, which has been genetically engineered for resistance to certain insects, primarily Lygus spp. The petition has been submitted in accordance with APHIS's regulations concerning the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms and products. APHIS is making the Monsanto petition available for review and comment to help us identify potential environmental and interrelated economic issues and impacts that APHIS may determine should be considered in their evaluation of the petition.

Under the authority of the plant pest provisions of the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the regulations in 7 CFR part 340, “Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to Believe Are Plant Pests,” regulate, among other things, the introduction (importation, interstate movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests. Such genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products are considered “regulated articles.”

The regulations in § 340.6(a) provide that any person may submit a petition to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) seeking a determination that an article should not be regulated under 7 CFR part 340. Paragraphs (b) and (c) of § 340.6 describe the submission procedures, format, and the information that must be included in the petition.

APHIS has received a petition (APHIS Petition Number 19-091-01p) from Monsanto Company (Monsanto) seeking a determination of nonregulated status for cotton designated as MON 88702, which has been genetically engineered for resistance to certain insects. The Monsanto petition states that this cotton is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk and, therefore, should not be a regulated article under APHIS's regulations in 7 CFR part 340.

Members of the public may submit comments online at Regulations.gov, or via mail. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.