The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last week completed its review of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, the last step required before the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) can publish the final rule. Because OMB completed its review on schedule, USDA could publish the final standard sometime during the next three weeks. When final, the standard will introduce mandatory labeling rules for bioengineered (BE) foods and foods with BE ingredients.
IDFA anticipates that USDA will release a pre-publication copy of the standard sometime next week. IDFA’s regulatory team is actively monitoring the rule’s progress and will analyze the publication for members.
IDFA has consistently urged the administration to finalize a standard that is transparent to consumers, not disparaging to biotechnology and flexible enough to allow dairy foods processors to easily understand and comply with the labeling standard.
USDA has indicated its desire to schedule the standard’s compliance date for Jan. 1, 2020, to align with the compliance date for updates to the Nutrition Facts panel. IDFA has also strongly encouraged the administration to allow more time for companies to comply with the standard so they can use up existing label stocks and spread compliance costs over at least 24 months and up to 48 months after the compliance date.
Members with questions may contact Danielle Quist, IDFA senior director of regulatory affairs and counsel, at firstname.lastname@example.org.