GM Labeling Rule Update – USDA Extends Deadline for Stakeholder Input
Legislation requiring labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods and food ingredients was signed into law on July 29, 2016. This law directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop regulations and standards to create mandatory disclosure requirements for bio-engineered foods by July 2018. Under the new law, food companies would have three options to disclose GMO ingredients: the use of on-package text, a USDA-created symbol, or an internet link — i.e., a QR code printed on the package that directs customers to GMO information.
On June 28, 2017, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) posted a list of 30 questions to obtain stakeholder input to facilitate the drafting of mandatory disclosure requirements to implement the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law. Many of the questions are open-ended in nature and request stakeholder feedback on how to best define certain terms, how to determine if a product requires a GMO label and what on-package symbol should be used to denote GMO ingredients. See our client alert for a comprehensive review of USDA’s 30 questions.
Stakeholder feedback was originally due to USDA by July 17, 2017, but was recently extended to August 25, 2017.