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USDA Seeking Input on Import Requirements for Genetically Engineered Organisms

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will hold public meetings on 6 June in Kansas City (Missouri), 13 June in Davis (California) and 16 June in Riverdale (Maryland) to gather public input on proposed revisions to APHIS’ regulations regarding the importation, interstate movement and environmental release of certain genetically engineered organisms. A simultaneous webcast will be made available for those who are unable to attend the meeting in person. Those planning to participate in either way are asked to register in advance.

Under the proposed rule 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 would work with the requestor to establish appropriate permit conditions to manage identified risks.

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