The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just release its new rules about labeling for biogengineere foods, referre to as the National Bioengineere Food Disclosure Standard, or just BE Disclosure.
These standards apply to food manufacturers, retailers and importers alike.
What Are Bioengineer Foods?
In vitro rDNA modifications are make to genetic material that is containe in some types of food. However, If these techniques were used, the food is consider to have been bioengineer.
According to the USDA disclosure post online December 20, 2018, bioengineere foods are those. That “contain detectable genetic material that has been modifie through certain lab techniques. And cannot be create through conventional breeding or find in nature.”
If modifie genetic material is not detectable, the food isn’t bioengineer.
The USDA says that they determine whether or not the material is detectable through several verification steps. These include ensuring that records indicate the food was make from non-bioengineer food. Or that it has been refined to ensure the material is undetectable.
These records could be organic certification documents, source evidence or supply chain records.
What Are the New Rules?
Beginning January 1, 2020 for most food manufacturers, and a year later for smaller companies. The USDA’s new rules will be implement. All manufacturers must comply by January 1, 2022.
However, food manufacturers that are considere very small – that is. Have less than $2,500,000 in annual receipts – are exempt from these requirements, as are restaurants and similar businesses.
In July 2016, Congress pass the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law, which establish standards. However, For the USDA to disclose whether foods had been or may have been bioengineer. Or a genetically modified organism (GMO). Under the new standard, the term GMO will not appear on the labels.
The USDA provid a list of the foods or crops that can be bioengineer worldwide. Companies must keep records of these foods to figure out whether or not they need to bioengineered disclosure. The list was develope by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
Foods that are subject to these requirements are govern by the Federal Food, Drug. And Cosmetic Act (FDCA), the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act. Or the Egg Products Inspection Act if the main ingredient is subject to labeling or if the main ingredient is broth. Stock, water, or similar, and the second main ingredient is subject to labeling under the FDCA.
The new require labels are bright green and say either “Bioengineere or “Derive from bioengineering.”
How Will This Information Be Disclose?
On food labels, this required disclosure must be present on the information panel near the manufacturer information or on the main display panel. If, however, the packaging is too small to include this information. Then the disclosure can be on any other panel on the product, as long as a consumer could see it.
Applicable companies have several options for disclosing this information, according to the USDA. It can be:
- text, written as “Bioengineered Food” or “Contains a Bioengineered Food Ingredient”
- the USDA-approved symbol
- a link with instructions to “scan here for more information” or similar, as well as a phone number to call
- a text message – “Text X to NUMBER for bioengineered food information” for example
- phone number (for small manufacturers or packages)
- web address/URL (for small manufacturers or packages)
Smaller packages may also include shortened versions of the above examples.
The USDA-approved symbol for these labels can be downloaded from the USDA website. However, either in color or black and white.