US requires labeling of GMO foods as “bioengineered”

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A RECENT ruling by the USDA exempts certain biotech foods from bioengineered labeling requirements, including highly refined products such as candies, cooking oils and sodas with levels of bioengineered foods too low for the genetic modifications to be detected.

The Biotechnology Innovation Organisation, an industry group, says the regulation “provides a mechanism for consumers to access clear, consistent and truthful information about food in a way that does not stigmatize the role of technology in food production.”

In the rule, USDA lists ingredients that manufacturers must disclose unless records demonstrate that they are not bioengineered. The list initially consists of genetically modified alfalfa, apples, canola, corn, cotton, eggplant, papaya that is resistant to the ringspot virus, pink flesh pineapple,
potatoes, salmon, soybeans, sugar beets, and summer squash.

USDA will revisit and possibly revise the list annually. The disclosure requirement takes effect Jan. 1, 2020, though compliance won’t be mandatory until Jan 1, 2022.