As many of you know, The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF)’s research partners at SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), are in the process of working with governmental agencies in an effort to deregulate the Darling 58 transgenic American chestnut tree. The first public comment period on the deregulatory petition with United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) lasted 60 days, ending October 19, 2020. More than 4,300 participated and positive comments outweighed the negative, both in number and in substance.

What’s next? APHIS will publish a draft Plant Pest Risk Assessment (PPRA) and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) after it completes its review of the petition and all accompanying public comments. This alone could take up to a year. Meanwhile, efforts are also underway to obtain approvals from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and eventually the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Overall, it will likely be years before a decision is made but TACF will continue to keep you updated as things progress. To learn more about this process and the transgenic American chestnut, visit this page on ESF’s website. To read a descriptive article about the deregulation process, written by TACF President and CEO Lisa Thomson, click here.

To join the effort to restore the American chestnut tree, visit

Pictured: Dr. William Powell, lead researcher at SUNY-ESF, plants a chestnut seedling. Photo by Linda McGuigan.