Tuesday, April 28, 2015

U.S. Department of Agriculture Reopens the Public Comment Period for the Stakeholder Workshop on Coexistence

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reopened the public comment period to receive feedback on the Stakeholder Workshop on Coexistence until May 11, 2015.

USDA’s Stakeholder Workshop on Coexistence was held on March 12 and 13, 2015, on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. The objective of the workshop was to advance an understanding of agricultural coexistence and discuss proposals for making coexistence more achievable for all stakeholders. Agricultural coexistence is the concurrent cultivation of conventional, organic, identity preserved, and genetically engineered crops consistent with farmer choices and consumer preferences. USDA supports the successful coexistence of these different forms of agricultural production and recognizes that each contributes to the overall health of farming and rural communities throughout the United States.

In addition to the feedback obtained at the workshop from invited participants—representing industry, farmers, government, and academia—the workshop was webcast to allow the public to follow along and offer a broader opportunity for USDA to solicit and obtain public comments on the meeting and on any coexistence proposals discussed. Originally, the public comment period was set to close on March 27, but was extended by two weeks to April 10. USDA continued to accept comments after April 10, and now that the public comment period is officially reopened to May 11, those comments will be included into the record for consideration. To ensure members of the public still have access to the key workshop information, recordings of the webcast—as well as copies of workshop presentations and summaries of USDA activities that are either newly proposed or already underway to support of coexistence—are available for public viewing on the USDA Stakeholder Workshop on Coexistence Web page: http://1.usa.gov/1CCWEXU

This Web page can also be accessed from the following USDA Stakeholder Information Web page: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/newsroom/stakeholder-info

Additionally, USDA invites you to submit any comments you have, whether they be feedback, ideas, or concerns, on any of the topics discussed during the workshop using the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS_FRDOC_0001-1773. Access is best gained by copying the link and pasting it onto your browser's address bar.

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