USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service gives Monsanto's insect-resistant GM soybean nonregulated status, says its unlikely to pose plant pest risk

WASHINGTON , October 12, 2011 (press release) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing its determination of nonregulated status for soybean which has been genetically engineered for insect resistance.

Monsanto petitioned APHIS for a determination of nonregulated status for event MON 87701, in 2009. In a notice published in the Federal Register on June 28, APHIS announced the availability of the Monsanto petition, a plant pest risk assessment (PPRA), and a draft environmental assessment (EA) for public comment. APHIS solicited comments on the petition, whether the subject soybeans are likely to pose a plant pest risk, the draft EA, and the PPRA for 60 days ending on Aug. 29. APHIS received four comments during the comment period.

APHIS determined that the soybean is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. The finding is based on the agency's analysis of field and laboratory data submitted by Monsanto, references provided in the petition, peer-reviewed publications, the PPRA and its review of the comments provided by the public. The soybean is therefore no longer subject to APHIS regulations.

Interstate movements and field trials for MON 87701 have been conducted under permits issued or notifications acknowledged by APHIS.

Notice of this decision is published in today's Oct. 12 Federal Register and becomes effective upon publication.

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