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Import Requirements for Genetically Engineered Organisms Get Longer Comment Period

Friday, February 10, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has extended from May 19 to June 21 the public comment period on a proposal to update its regulations regarding the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain genetically engineered organisms in response to advances in genetic engineering and understanding of the plant pest and noxious weed risk posed by such organisms.

Under the proposed rule, which APHIS states would be the first comprehensive revision of these regulations since they were established in 1987, APHIS would first assess GE organisms to determine if they pose plant pest or noxious weed risks. If they do not, APHIS would not require a permit for the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release (outdoor use) of the GE organism. On the other hand, if APHIS determines that controls on imports, interstate movements, or environmental releases (regulated controlled outdoor use such as in field trials) are needed it will work with the requestor to establish appropriate permit conditions to manage identified risks.

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