Availability of Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft Plant Pest Risk Assessment for Petition to Deregulate Altered Oil Profile and Herbicide Resistant GE Canola

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Date: April 3, 2019

Dear BRS Stakeholder,

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking public comment on two documents related to the potential deregulation of a canola variety genetically engineered (GE) to convert oleic acid to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), as well as for resistance to an imidazolinone herbicide. The documents are a draft Environmental Assessment (dEA) that analyzes the potential issues and environmental impacts, and a draft Plant Pest Risk Assessment (dPPRA) that examines any plant pest risks.

DHA and EPA are omega-3 fatty acids that support brain development and protect neurological function. This GE canola variety accumulates a substantially higher concentration of DHA and EPA in the seed oil compared to other conventional canola varieties. In their petition, BASF states that LBFLFK canola provides a plant-based and scalable production system for omega-3 fatty acids and will be another source of EPA and DHA for consumers as either a food ingredient or as an aquaculture feed ingredient.

This notice is on display in today’s Federal Register. Beginning tomorrow, the public will be able to submit comments on the dEA and dPPRA for 30 days through May 6, 2019, at: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2018-0014. These documents may be accessed now on the News and Information page of the BRS website.

APHIS will thoroughly review and consider all public input submitted during the comment period, and use the information as we work to complete, and then publish, final environmental documents and our regulatory determination.