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The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), part of the Department of Agriculture, issues regulations that govern the introduction (importation, interstate movement, or release into the environment) of certain genetically engineered (GE) organisms that are considered ‘‘regulated articles.’’ APHIS issued a proposed rule on January 19, 2017, that would revise its regulations regarding the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain GE organisms in order to update the regulations in response to advances in genetic engineering and understanding of the plant pest and noxious weed risk posed by GE organisms, thereby reducing burden for regulated entities whose organisms pose no plant pest or noxious weed risks.

After multiple public meetings an and opportunity for public comment, APHIS decided to withdraw the rule as of November 7, 2017 (82 FR 51582). APHIS notes that the public expressed concerns with the scope of the rule; the potential time required to regulate certain GE organisms; a potentially confusing regulatory system due to overlapping regulations; and generally how the government should regulate GE organisms. APHIS intends to meet anew with stakeholders as the agency considers policy alternatives.