USDA Labeling for Genetically Modified Food Updated

dWeb.News Article from Daniel Webster dWeb.News

Jan. 4, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new food labeling rules for genetically modified food products went into effect Jan. 1, 2022. The big change for consumers is the removal of “GMO” which refers to genetically modified organisms.

Instead, they’ll see a round green label that says “bioengineered” or “derived from bioengineering” or a label with a phone number or QR code to provide more information. A spokesperson for USDA stated that the new label will provide uniformity in food labeling. Previously, it was dependent on a “patchwork” of state regulations. The Washington Post reported.

The rule was in effect as 2020,, but compliance deadline was January 1, 2022..

Some old official certifications such as “USDA Organic” and “NON GMO Project Verified” will still be valid. However, the compliance deadline was Jan. 1, 2022.

The Center for Food Safety and other advocacy organizations claim that the labeling is too restrictive and unfair for people who don’t have smartphones, as they won’t be capable of scanning the QR codes. The USDA will not conduct in-store inspections to ensure compliance, but will instead rely on consumer complaints.

“The already overburdened consumer is going to have to spend four times as much time in the supermarket reading labels,” Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, told The Post. “And now they’ll have to be USDA citizen investigators to make sure this law has some consequences.”

Food companies urged the government to delay implementation of the rule.

“We believe that the government should take a “do no harm” position now that allows businesses to concentrate on delivering essential products for consumers,” Betsy Booren, of the Consumer Brands Association, stated The Post ..

The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standards defines bioengineered food as “those that have detectable genetic material that was modified through certain laboratory techniques and cannot been created through conventional breeding or found naturally,” according to the USDA website.

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