APHIS gets petition from Monsanto on genetically engineered alfalfa

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, April 19, 2013 - USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today released a notice that it has received a petition from the Monsanto Company and Forage Genetics International seeking a determination of non-regulated status of alfalfa designated as event KK179, which has been genetically engineered to express reduced levels of guaiacyl lignin (G lignin).

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This reduction in G lignin leads to reduced accumulation of total lignin in alfalfa forage, the principal feed product derived from alfalfa, APHIS said. The petition states that this alfalfa event is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk and, therefore, should not be a regulated article under APHIS' regulations.

APHIS said the petition has been submitted in accordance with regulations concerning the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms and products.

The petition will be published in the April 22 Federal Register, and APHIS will consider all public comments for the following 60 days.

Comments can be submitted on the federal erulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0013-0001.

In addition, comments can be mailed to Docket No. APHIS-2013-0013, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1238.

For more information contact, John Turner, director of environmental risk analysis programs, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 147, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1236; (301) 851-3954, email: john.t.turner@aphis.usda.gov.

The petition may be viewed here.


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