USDA Provides Further Instruction On Testing For GMO Labeling Rule

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has released for comment its draft instructions regarding an acceptable testing methodology that will satisfy a food does not contain GMOs for the new bioengineered (BE) label.

USDA -AMS implements the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. On January 1, 2022, which is the mandatory compliance date for the rule, regulated entities must disclose whether food offered for retail sale is BE or uses BE food ingredients.

The regulatory definition of “bioengineered food” excludes foods where modified genetic material is not detectable and USDA’s regulations discuss “detectability” at 7 CFR 66.9.

In issuing the final rule, USDA-AMS indicated it would provide further instructions on two of the provisions by which a regulated entity can determine that modified genetic material is not detectable: (1) acceptable testing methodology and (2) validating a refining process. USDA-AMS released draft instructions for validation of refining processes on December 17, 2019.

Comments on the new draft instructions are due by March 4, 2020.

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