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June 24, 2020
Dear BRS Stakeholder,
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is inviting public comment on a request from J.R. Simplot Company (Simplot) to extend deregulation to a potato variety, designated as Snowden Z6 (Z6 potato), which is genetically engineered for late blight protection, lowered reducing sugars, low acrylamide potential and reduced black spot bruising.
APHIS previously reviewed and deregulated these traits in another potato developed by Simplot, referred to as Innate W8 Russet Burbank potato (W8 potato).
APHIS reviewed Simplot’s extension request and prepared a preliminary plant pest risk similarity assessment (PPRSA), concluding that Z6 potatoes are not more likely to pose a plant pest risk than the previously deregulated W8 potatoes.
APHIS reached a Record of Categorical Exclusion Determination (ROCED) based on its PPRSA. APHIS is making the PPRSA and deregulation extension request available for public review for 30 days. APHIS is interested in receiving comments regarding potential environmental and interrelated economic impacts as it relates to the National Environmental Policy Act.
APHIS will carefully review all feedback on these documents received during the public comment period. If APHIS does not receive any new scientific information, the Agency will announce the extension of deregulation to Z6 potatoes on its website.
The PPRSA, deregulation extension request, and the notice in today’s Federal Register can be accessed now on the News page of the BRS website. Beginning tomorrow, members of the public will be able to submit comments through July 27, 2020.