The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week released 30 questions asking for specific stakeholder input on the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. With just two years to write and implement the standard, USDA is working at “lightning speed” and expects to issue a final rule on time in July 2018, a USDA representative told dairy industry attendees at IDFA’s Regulatory RoundUP this month. Because the department does not plan to issue an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, the questions will serve as the main opportunity for industry stakeholders to submit feedback before USDA is expected to release a proposed rule this fall or winter. USDA's deadline for feedback is July 17.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which is responsible for drafting and implementing the standard, asked for input on several topics, including:
- If AMS should require disclosure for food that contains highly refined products, such as oils or sugars derived from bioengineered crops;
- How AMS should craft language in the standard acknowledging that animals consuming bioengineered feed are exempt from the disclosure requirements as bioengineered solely because they fed on bioengineered feed;
- The amount of a bioengineered ingredient present in a food for it to be considered bioengineered;
- How AMS should define restaurants and similar retail food establishments to exclude these establishments from the requirements of the regulation; and
- How AMS should define small food manufacturers and small and very small packages.
AMS also asked several questions pertaining to the on-label requirements of the standard.
The list of 30 questions is available here.
IDFA invites members to share feedback and concerns on a call to be held on Thursday, July 6, 2017 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. The call will discuss AMS’ questions and consolidate member opinions into the association’s position on the standard.
For more information, contact Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel, at email@example.com.