"Bioengineered" GMO label takes effect Jan 1st
Say goodbye to GMOs. The new term for foods created with a boost from science is "bioengineered."
As of Jan. 1, food manufacturers, importers and retailers in the U.S. must comply with a new national labeling standard for food that's been genetically modified in a way that isn't possible through natural growth.
Consumers will begin to see labels on some foods that say "bioengineered" or "derived from bioengineering," as the new federal standard takes hold and replaces the former patchwork of state-level requirements.
The change has been several years in the making. In 2016, Congress passed a law to establish a national benchmark for the labeling of genetically modified food in an attempt to give people more information about what they eat and standardize labels across the country. Sonny Perdue, who served as agriculture secretary during the Trump administration, announced the regulations in 2018.
The logos are confusing and the rules don't go far enough, critics say
The Center for Food Safety, one advocacy group opposed to the new standard, says it makes it easier for companies to conceal what's in their products and leaves consumers in the dark.
Although there's no evidence that genetically modified crops are harmful to human health, according to the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization, advocates say people still deserve to know what they're eating.
"These regulations are not about informing the public but rather designed to allow corporations to hide their use of genetically engineered ingredients from their customers," Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, said in a statement.
The group has sued the USDA in federal court in an attempt to block the new rules. The case remains ongoing.