The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is making available for public comment a draft environmental assessment (EA) and preliminary plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) following a petition received from the J.R. Simplot Company.

The petition is seeking deregulation of a potato genetically engineered (GE) for late blight resistance, low acrylamide potential, reduced black spot bruising, and lowered reducing sugars.

APHIS deregulates a GE product only after it concludes that the product is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk to agricultural crops and other plants and plant products.

The availability of the draft EA and preliminary PPRA will be announced in the Federal Register next week. The documents will be available for public review and comment for 30 days. The draft PPRA was conducted to determine whether the potatoes are likely to pose a plant pest risk, and the draft EA evaluates the effects on the quality of the human environment that may result from deregulation.

The documents are available at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/news.