Last week on this site, we told you the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service had extended the deadline for public input on proposed regulations changes for genetically engineered crops to June 29.
While researching this issue, we found that the USDA also is accepting public comments on whether it should allow ArborGen to conduct 29 field trials of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees. If the “cold tolerant” trees are allowed, it will be the first time a test of this size will occur and it could result in more than 250,000 genetically engineered trees nationwide.
While logging comments about the USDA’s proposed changes to reflect transformations in genetic technology, transport and release, as well as its update of the permitting process on a number of genetically engineered organisms, the public can also comment on the proposed ArborGen tests at regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main...
While it takes some time to discover the call for comments on this and number of other issues on the site, it’s definitely worth investigating to ensure your thoughts are recorded and considered.
By law, the USDA must take public comments on such matters. Andrea McNally, APHIS assistant director of public affairs, said the USDA also is required to provide answers with supporting evidence to questions and comments.
The agency will collect comments on ArborGen through July 6