FDA Confirms Extension of Compliance Dates for Nutrition Labeling and Serving Size Rules

USDA Proposes National Bioengineered (BE) Food Disclosure Rules

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published in the May 4, 2018 Federal Register the long awaited proposed regulations implementing the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard enacted in 2016.
  • The rule would require food manufacturers and other entities that label foods for retail sale to disclose information about BE food and BE food ingredient content.  The rule would serve as a national standard for disclosure, preempting inconsistent state laws enacted over the past several years.
  • Consistent with the law, the proposed rule defines bioengineered food as containing DNA that is modified through in vitro techniques in a way that could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or which is not found in nature.  However, the proposed regulations do not address the more creative biotech approaches, thresholds or exemptions that industry was anxiously awaiting.  USDA is soliciting additional comments regarding whether highly processed foods, which may have all of their DNA removed, derived from bioengineered foods should be considered bioengineered due to the possibility that trace amounts of DNA will remain.  The comment period will close in 60 days on July 3, 2018.

Keller and Heckman is closely analyzing the proposed BE food disclosure standard.  Stay tuned for our client alert which will provide a more detailed summary.