In order to stop a patchwork of contradictory state GMO labeling laws, Congress worked over the past year to create a national, uniform standard for identifying genetically engineered (“GE”) foods. That work culminated in the passage of Senate Bill 764 (“S. 764”) in July 2016. The new standard will require GE foods to bear a text, symbol, or digital or electronic link (i.e. a QR code) that provides information about the GE content of the food. The bill was signed into law by President Obama on Friday, July 29, 2016.
S. 764 entrusts the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA” or “the Department”) with creating the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (“the Standard”). To assist in creating the standard, USDA formed a working group which is currently helping identify the issues that the Department will address through notice-and-comment rulemaking. The working group consists of representatives from the offices of the Secretary, General Counsel, Agricultural Marketing Service, Food Safety Inspection Service, Chief Economist, Foreign Agriculture Service, and Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service, as well as representatives from the White House.
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