The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sept. 6 released a study conducted on its behalf by Deloitte that identified technological issues that should be addressed to ensure consumers are able to access the required bioengineered food disclosure through electronic or digital methods. The study’s conclusion: “While there are some notable challenges, most consumers would be able to access this information given the proper education and tools to do so.”
The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 29, 2016, directed the U.S.D.A. to establish a mandatory national disclosure standard for genetically engineered foods. Food manufacturers will be required to disclose bioengineered foods by July 2018. To do so, they may employ one of three methods: text that will appear on packages, an on-package symbol or an electronic or digital link.
The U.S.D.A.’s Agricultural Marketing Service was charged with developing on-package text and symbols. It also must develop guidelines governing the use of electronic or digital links, should food manufacturers select that option.