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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; 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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Food and Drug Administration, HHS.




The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing Start Printed Page 17869that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.


Fax written comments on the collection of information by May 18, 2009.


To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-6974, or e-mailed to All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0583. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

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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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In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

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 (57 FR 22984), 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. 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.

In the Federal Register of January 9, 2009 (74 FR 906), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the information collection provisions. No comments were received.

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
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 evaluation. 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.

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Dated: April 10, 2009.

Jeffrey Shuren,

Associate Commissioner for Policy and Planning.

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[FR Doc. E9-8773 Filed 4-16-09; 8:45 am]