USDA Proposes Terminology Change From GMO To Bioengineered

May 10, 2018

On May third, the Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, proposed a rule to establish a national mandatory bioengineered (BE) food disclosure standard. This 106 page proposed regulation would eliminate the current GMO or genetically modified labelling and require specific BE labeling in its place.  

To add to the confusion of a new term and label that consumers probably aren't familiar with, the label isn't required to be in one standardized icon, like the USDA organic label. Instead, companies have the option of using a text declaration on packaging, such as "bioengineered food" or "bioengineered food ingredient," or in a sentence such as "contains/may contain a bioengineered food ingredient." Additionally, companies have a third option of using a digital link or QR code disclosure rather than a label, text or sentence. This option, of course, requires a smartphone and reliable broadband connection.