of the transgenic grass to nontransgenic strains in an area considerably less than an acre. Twice weekly mowing maintained the grass at a height of 5/32 inches. The borders of the field test were maintained by application of an herbicide treatment every two weeks. The applicant also states that TifEagle cannot withstand central New Jersey’s cold winters but that the plots would be monitored to see if the transgenic plants had developed winterhardiness. The applicant does not describe other methods for preventing accidental spread by fragments of the grass that may attach to equipment or shoes. But the ultradwarf, dense-growing nature of this particular variety probably makes such fragmentation extremely unlikely—especially compared to the easily broken, rambling runners of the wild type.

Environmental Risks Considered by APHIS

APHIS does not conduct environmental assessments on notifications, which are assumed to be safe based on meeting the notification criteria and based on using plant-specific performance standards that minimize any chance of plant or gene escape beyond the confines of the field plot.

Involvement of Potential Participant Groups

There is no public or external scientific involvement for this or any other plant that goes through the notification process.

THE PERMITTING PROCESS

Permitting of Maize-Expressing Proteins with Pharmaceutical Applications

Background

This case is a permit application (00-073-01r, dated March 8, 2000) in which the applicant (ProdiGene) requested permission to grow maize transformed with one or more transgene-expressing proteins with pharmaceutical properties (with the date of intended release 60 days later). The specific phenotype is listed as “antibody production in seed.” A description of the transgenic plant was not available because it is confidential business information (CBI). The purpose of the permit was to grow the transformed maize for seed increase and genetic improvement. The test plots, totaling no more than 2 acres, were to be grown in Nebraska.



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