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USDA’s GMO food labeling proposal: What you need to know

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published a long-awaited proposed rule to establish GMO labeling standards (the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard), but still leaves most of the key questions – including how to interpret its definition of ‘bioengineered’ – unanswered.

Given that the deadline for submitting public comments is July 3, USDA will not meet the Congressionally mandated deadline to finalize the rule by July 29, 2018, acknowledged agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue, who said the final rule would be issued “later this year.”

[T]he proposed rule] … provides some clarity on exemptions, but leaves two key questions – on definitions and thresholds – unresolved, leaving many manufacturers unclear on whether their products will be subject to GMO labeling or not.

The amended Agriculture Marketing Act defines ‘bioengineering’ with respect to a food, as food ‘(A) that contains genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques; and (B) for which the modification could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature.”

The proposed rule makes no mention of whether ingredients from crops produced via other GE techniques such as gene-editing meet the definition of ‘bioengineered.’

Read full, original post: USDA proposed rule on GMO labeling raises more questions than answers

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