The 2016 Act, passed by Congress in July of 2016, directed the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish a national mandatory standard for disclosing foods that are or may be bioengineered within two years. The final rule for the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard was then issued on December 21, 2018. This Standard defines how foods that contain bioengineered ingredients should be labeled. Manufacturers, importers, and retailers were scheduled to begin compliance with the law on Jan. 1, 2022. Here are five things you need to know about this new federal standard that regulates the labeling of bioengineered (BE) foods:
1. Manufacturers subject to the law
Any manufacturer that produces a retail food (with a few USDA exemptions) from the AMS list of Bioengineered Foods will need to include a disclosure on the packaging that informs the consumer of the presence of a BE substance or substances. Commonly bioengineered crops include canola, corn, soybeans, and sugar beets. While many of these bioengineered crops are used for animal feed, some are also used as ingredients in the food supply chain.
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