USDA Announces Deregulation of Petunias Developed Using Genetic Engineering


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Orange PetuniasDear BRS Stakeholder,

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announces the deregulation of petunia varieties, designated as A1-DFR, developed using genetic engineering to produce orange flowers. 

After reviewing the petition and available data, APHIS published for a 30-day public comment period a preliminary determination of nonregulated status for A1-DFR petunias, a draft Plant Pest Risk Assessment that examined plant pest risks, a draft Environmental Assessment that analyzed the potential issues and environmental impacts, and a preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact. After thoroughly reviewing all public comments, APHIS has determined the A1-DFR petunia variety is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk to agricultural crops or other plants in the United States. Therefore, A1-DFR petunias, and any progeny derived from them are no longer to be considered regulated under APHIS’ Biotechnology Regulations at 7 CFR part 340

With this deregulation, the 15 A1-DFR varieties identified in the Westhoff petition have been removed from the APHIS list of varieties that require import authorization. APHIS will retain all other varieties developed using genetic engineering on the list of varieties requiring import authorization.  If an importer of a listed variety has reason to believe the variety contains the same plant-trait-mechanism of action combination as A1-DFR petunias, the importer can seek confirmation that the variety is not regulated under 7 CFR part 340, by providing APHIS with information demonstrating the plant meets the criteria for exemption from regulation (guidance can be found on the BRS Confirmation Request Process web page).

The final environmental documents can be accessed on the News page of the BRS website.