USDA accepting comments on Monsanto genetically engineered corn

By Erin Voegele | August 06, 2015

The USDA recently opened a public comment period on a preliminary plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) and draft environmental assessment (EA) for maize designated as event MON 87403, a Monsanto corn that has been genetically engineered for increased ear biomass. Comments are due Aug. 20.

According to a notice posted in the Federal Register, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service received a petition from Monsanto Co. seeking a determination of nonregulated status of maize designated as event MON 87403, which has been genetically engineered for increased ear biomass. The Monsanto petition states that information collected during field trials and laboratory analyses indicates that MON 87403 maize is not like to be a plant pest therefore should not be regulated under the plant pest provisions of the Plant Protection Act, which regulates the introduction of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is a reason to believe are plant pests.

The notice states that APHIS has prepared a preliminary PPRA and has concluded that maize designated as event MON 87403 is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. APHIS also prepared a draft EA in which it presents two alternatives based on its analysis of data submitted by Monsanto, a review of other scientific data, field tests conducted under APHIS oversight and comments received on the petition.

Additional information, along with instructions on how to submit comments, is available on the Federal Register website