The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced its decision to deregulate the Monsanto Company’s corn genetically engineered (GE) for increased ear biomass. This notice also announces the availability of our written determination and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 

APHIS is taking this action based on a final plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) that finds this GE corn is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk to agriculture and other plants in the United States. APHIS also completed an environmental assessment (EA) to comply with NEPA that finds deregulation is not likely to have a significant impact on the human environment.  

Under APHIS’ regulations, in accordance with the Plant Protection Act (PPA), APHIS is specifically required to evaluate if this corn variety is a plant pest risk to agricultural crops or other plants or plant products. The Act defines a plant pest as organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, or insects that can cause harm to agricultural crops or other plants or plant products. If APHIS finds through its rigorous scientific review that a new GE plant is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk, then under its regulations, it deregulates the GE plant. 

Notice of this determination will be published in the Federal Register on December 8, 2015. A copy of the petition, PPRA, determination, FONSI and supporting documents can be found on the News and Information page of the BRS website.