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Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Recommendations for the Early Food Safety Evaluation of New Non-Pesticidal Proteins Produced by New Plant Varieties Intended for Food Use

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on Start Printed Page 907the information collection provisions of the guidance document entitled “Recommendations for the Early Food Safety Evaluation of New Non-Pesticidal Proteins Produced by New Plant Varieties Intended for Food Use.”

DATES:

Submit written or electronic comments on the collection of information by March 10, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Submit electronic comments on the collection of information to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments on the collection of information to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All comments should be identified with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jonna Capezzuto, Office of Information Management (HFA-710), Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, 301-796-3794.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

Recommendations for the Early Food Safety Evaluation of New Non-Pesticidal Proteins Produced by New Plant Varieties Intended for Food Use (OMB Control Number 0910-0583—Extension)

Since May 29, 1992, when FDA issued a policy statement on foods derived from new plant varieties, FDA has encouraged developers of new plant varieties, including those varieties that are developed through biotechnology, to consult with FDA early in the development process to discuss possible scientific and regulatory issues that might arise (57 FR 22984). The guidance entitled “Recommendations for the Early Food Safety Evaluation of New Non-Pesticidal Proteins Produced by New Plant Varieties Intended for Food Use” continues to foster early communication by encouraging developers to submit to FDA their evaluation of the food safety of their new protein. Such communication helps to ensure that any potential food safety issues regarding a new protein in a new plant variety are resolved early in development, prior to any possible inadvertent introduction into the food supply of material from that plant variety.

FDA believes that any food safety concern related to such material entering the food supply would be limited to the potential that a new protein in food from the plant variety could cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals or could be a toxin. The guidance describes the procedures for early food safety evaluation of new proteins in new plant varieties, including bioengineered food plants, and the procedures for communicating with FDA about the safety evaluation.

The respondents to this collection of information are developers of new plant varieties intended for food use.

FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

Table 1.—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden1

No. of RespondentsAnnual Frequency per ResponseTotal Annual ResponsesHours per ResponseTotal Hours
First four data components20120480
Two other data components2012016320
Total400
1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

FDA estimates the annual total hour burden for this collection of information to be 400 hours. This estimate is based on early food safety evaluations submitted in the past 3 years. FDA's estimate of the time that it would take a respondent to prepare the data components of the early food safety evaluation submission is based on the agency's experience with similar submissions.

Completing an early food safety evaluation for a new protein from a new plant variety is a one-time burden (one evaluation per new protein). Based on its experience over the past 3 years, FDA estimates that approximately 20 developers will choose to complete an early food safety evaluation for their new plant protein. Many developers of novel plants may choose not to submit an evaluation because the field testing of a plant containing a new protein is conducted in such a way (e.g., on such a small scale, or in such isolated conditions, etc.) that cross-pollination with traditional crops or commingling of plant material is not likely to be an issue. Also, other developers may have previously communicated with FDA about the food safety of a new plant protein, for example, when the same protein was expressed in a different crop.

The early food safety evaluation for new proteins includes six main data components. Four of these data components are easily and quickly obtainable, having to do with the identity and source of the protein. FDA estimates that completing these data components will take about 4 hours per Start Printed Page 908evaluation. In table 1 of this document, row 1 shows that for 20 evaluations, the total burden for these 4 data components is 80 hours.

Two data components ask for original data to be generated. One data component consists of a bioinformatics analysis which can be performed using publicly available databases. The other data component involves “wet” lab work to assess the new protein's stability and the resistance of the protein to enzymatic degradation using appropriate in vitro assays (protein digestibility study). The paperwork burden of these two data components consists of the time it takes the company to assemble the information on these two data components to submit to FDA. We estimate that these two data components will take 16 hours to complete (8 hours for each component). In table 1 of this document, row 2 shows that for 20 evaluations, the total burden for these two data components is 320 hours.

Please note that on January 15, 2008, the FDA Division of Dockets Management Web site transitioned to the Federal Dockets Management System (FDMS). FDMS is a Government-wide, electronic docket management system. Electronic comments or submissions will be accepted by FDA only through FDMS at http://www.regulations.gov.

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Dated: December 30, 2008.

Jeffrey Shuren,

Associate Commissioner for Policy and Planning.

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[FR Doc. E9-213 Filed 1-8-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4160-01-S