The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is advising the public it has prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) to address a petition from Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc. The company is seeking a determination of nonregulated status for its genetically engineered cotton that is resistant to lepidopteran insect damage.

The hybrid cotton line, designated as Event COT67B, produces a unique full-length protein that is resistant to several important cotton pests. APHIS’ plant pest risk assessment concluded that Event COT67B is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. APHIS is making its risk assessment and draft EA available for public review and comment prior to approving or denying Sygenta’s petition.

COT67B cotton has been field tested in the United States since 2003 as authorized by APHIS. The agency’s draft EA, plant pest risk assessment and Sygenta’s petition will be published in today's May 11 Federal Register.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before July 11. Comments should be sent to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0130, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that the comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0130. Those wishing to submit a comment using the Internet may go to the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2007-0130 to submit or view comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.