USDA releases long-awaited GMO labeling rules

bioengineered
One of the USDA-approved labels for 'bioengineered' food. Credit: USDA

New disclosure requirements finalized by USDA for biotech foods will mandate the use of the term “bioengineered” while providing a key exemption for ingredients such as vegetable oils, sugar and other foods where the genetically altered DNA of the GMO crop can’t be detected.

The requirements, which will be enforced starting in 2022, also will exempt foods that contain as much as 5 percent of a bioengineered ingredient that the manufacturer can prove was sourced as non-GMO.

USDA released two symbols for bioengineered foods that companies can use on labels. One symbol is for products on which disclosure is required, while the other is for companies that want to label ingredients that are otherwise exempt from the rules. The symbols can be used in full color or black-and-white display.

Related article:  Viewpoint: It's time to stop 'worrying' whether gene-edited plants and animals are GMOs—and set aside senseless regulations

The mandatory compliance date is Jan. 1, 2022, but companies can start using the symbols and following the disclosure requirements starting [January 2019]. “There is nothing to prevent them from starting” before 2022, a USDA official said.

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said the rule …. “provides clarity to the marketplace so that consumers can make informed decisions on the issues that matter to them, and protects the innovation that is critical to the sustainability of agriculture.”

Read full, original article: USDA issues GMO disclosure rules

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