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Bioengineered Food Rule Moves to Next Step: White House Review

Sep 12, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sent the proposed National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard to the White House for review late last month. The move represents the penultimate step in finalizing the standard, which will introduce mandatory labeling rules for bioengineered (BE) foods or foods with BE ingredients.

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will manage the inter-agency review process and evaluate the standard’s compliance with President Trump’s regulatory reform agenda. OMB is tasked with completing its review within 90 days, but often applies for extensions, which could lead to further delays.

After the review is complete, the administration will publish the final rule in the Federal Register, mostly likely later this year. According to a report today in POLITICO, USDA hopes to release the final rule by Dec. 1.

IDFA will remain engaged with the administration as the rule moves through these final stages.

IDFA Stresses Dairy Priorities

IDFA filed comments in July with USDA on the proposed standard, supporting the position that animal products like milk are not subject to the disclosure requirements solely because the cows consumed feed from a BE substance, such as corn silage or soybean meal.

In addition, foods with organic certification, produced by very small food manufacturers or sold to restaurants also should be excluded, said IDFA, noting these four exclusions align with the intent of Congress when it passed the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard Act in 2016.

Overall, IDFA called for a final rule that adheres to consumer expectations for transparency, does not disparage the use of bioengineering or stifle food industry innovation, and remains consistent with other standards applied to U.S. food manufacturers.

Read IDFA’s comments here.

Members with questions may contact Danielle Quist, IDFA senior director of regulatory affairs and counsel, at dquist@idfa.org.

 
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