USDA to Release Final Ruling on Biotech Ingredients

Following a two-year comment period, USDA has released a final ruling on labeling requirements for bioengineered foods. The regulation will establish a nationally standardized label for foods containing genetically modified ingredients. Packaging will be required to bear the label starting in 2020. USDA claims the ruling will help “increase consumer confidence and understanding” but will not necessarily confer human health or environmental benefits. The final definition of ‘bioengineered’ as adopted in the final rule is a food “(A) that contains genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques; and (B) for which the modification could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature.”