In August, a line of biotech rice was found in commercial grain bins prior to becoming fully deregulated by USDA. Now USDA is seeking public comment on a petition to deregulate a rice genetically engineered to be tolerant to herbicides marketed under the brand name LibertyLink from Bayer CropScience.
If a genetically engineered crop has gone through the regulatory process for USDA to determine that it can be safely commercialized, it is commonly referred to as being a deregulated crop. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service deregulated two similar LibertyLink rice lines. Under petition, APHIS would extend its deregulation from the original two lines to include the rice line known as LLRICE601.
A review of the scientific data by USDA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration concluded that there were no human health, food safety or environmental concerns associated with this GE rice.
USDA is seeking comment on the petition and invites comments on the APHIS' environmental assessment. Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Oct. 10.
Send an original and three copies of comments to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0140, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1238. Comments may be submitted via the Internet at www.regulations.gov. Comments are posted on the regulations.gov Web site and may also be viewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th St. and Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C., between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. To facilitate entry into the comment reading room, please call (202) 690-2817.