The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a correction to a proposed rule regarding the “importation, interstate movement and release into the environment of certain genetically engineered [GE] organisms.” Where the October 9, 2008, notice indicated that the rule would preempt “no State or local laws or regulations,” the correction substitutes “All State and local laws or regulations that are inconsistent with this rule will be preempted.” Comments on the entire proposal must be submitted on or before November 24, 2008.

The original proposal represents the “first comprehensive review and revision of the regulations since they were established in 1987,” bringing the rules “into alignment with provisions of the Plant Protection Act” and updating the rules “in response to advances in genetic science and technology.” Among the changes proposed are provisions to revise the rules’ scope “to make it clear that decisions regarding which organisms are regulated remain science-based and take both plant pest and noxious weed risks into account,” and to clarify that “the responsible person for a GE organism could correctly apply the criteria in [7 CFR] § 340.0 to determine whether the GE organism is subject to the regulations.” See Federal Register, October 9 and November 10, 2008.

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