Crop Biotech Update

APHIS Seeks Comment on Microbial Enzyme-Producing Corn

January 16, 2009

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking public comment on a petition by Syngenta Seeds Inc. to deregulate a corn genetically modified to produce the microbial enzyme alpha-amylase. This enzyme helps breakdown large corn starch molecules, facilitating ethanol production. If APHIS grants the petition for deregulation, the corn and its progeny can be planted freely without requiring permits. An environmental assessment (EA) draft has been prepared to determine whether deregulating the GM corn could have a significant impact on the environment. Comments must be submitted on or before Jan. 20, 2009.

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