WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2013 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved three new biotechnology innovations today, including Monsanto’s glyphosate resistant canola, male-sterile corn and Genective’s glyphosate resistant corn.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) posted the agency’s final determination of nonregulated status for those genetically engineered (GE) plants today.

Under APHIS’s improved regulatory review process for GE plants, APHIS posted a notice of preliminary deregulation for Monsanto’s GE corn and canola in the Federal Register on July 25, 2013, and for Genective’s GE corn on July 26, 2013, for a 30-day review and comment period.

Since this period ended, APHIS has reviewed the comments and finalized the environmental assessment, saying it has found no significant impact. The agency, therefore, granted the biotechnology innovations nonregulated status. APHIS will no longer regulate the field-testing or movement of these three GE plants.

In November of 2011, APHIS announced it would begin improving the overall timeline for biotechnology approvals. APHIS's analysis shows deregulation decisions took an average 178 days between 1992 and 1999. But that timeline more recently increased to two to five years or longer. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the department has set a goal for an average 1.3 year approval process. 

This article was updated at 4:15 pm.


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