The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released its proposed rule for a National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (“NBFDS”). When finalized, this rule will create a nationwide labeling requirement for foods containing bioengineered ingredients. USDA is accepting comments on the proposed regulation until July 3, 2018.
The USDA’s proposed rule would require a disclosure on certain food products indicating that they are or contain a “bioengineered food.” If this terminology is unfamiliar to you, you are not alone — it represents a significant shift in how we describe foods and ingredients produced through the use of genetic engineering. “Genetically Engineered, ”“Genetically Modified,” and “GMO” are common parlance. The proposed standard would omit these commonly used phrases in favor of a more scientifically accurate but far less familiar designation: “bioengineered food” or “BE” for short.