Deregulation of Darling 58

The public comment period for the deregulation of Darling 58 has been extended!

The United States Department of Agriculture’s office of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) has posted the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Plant Pest Risk Assessment (PPRA) and opened a new public comment period. We are excited to enter the next stages of the Darling 58 (D58) American chestnut deregulation process.

Thank you to everyone who commented during previous public comment periods and to those submitting for the first time. We appreciate your ongoing support in bringing this scientific, grassroots mission to life.

Petition for Determination of Non-regulated Status: State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Blight-Resistant Darling 58 American Chestnut

Watch a brief video of the project here.

The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) is leading an unprecedented mission to restore the American chestnut tree to its native range. By employing complementary methods of traditional breeding, biotechnology, and biocontrol, TACF is working to create a disease-tolerant and genetically diverse population of American chestnuts. Working in close collaboration with TACF, the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) leads the biotechnology research and testing efforts. This method has proven to be one of the most successful for generating blight-tolerant American chestnut trees, known as Darling 58, that retain their full complement of traits for adaptation and ecosystem services in our forests. It is imperative, however, that the D58 is bred with wild-type American chestnut trees to diversify the population and provide regional adaptation.

Because genetically engineered plants must be approved for use by federal agencies, ESF has filed a “Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status for Blight-Tolerant Darling 58 American Chestnut (Castanea dentata)” with USDA-APHIS. Approval of the petition is a critical step toward planting this blight-tolerant transgenic tree in unrestricted areas as part of restoration programs.

Participation in the public comment period is a groundbreaking opportunity to save the American chestnut. Your comments play an important role in the review process of USDA-APHIS. Below are some tools and templates to assist you throughout the process.

Your support makes this bold mission possible. Thank you!