Biotech Updates

American Soybean Association Requests Accurate Bioengineered Food Labeling

July 11, 2018

The American Soybean Association (ASA) has filed their comments with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) regarding its proposed rule to implement the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS).

The letter accompanying their comments state "As farmers, we understand and support the consumer's desire to know what is in their food. We are proud of the methods and technology we use to deliver a safe and affordable product to the consumer while developing ways to reduce impacts on the environment." The letter went on to say that biotechnology allows farmers to reduce inputs like water, fertilizer, and pesticides.

The NBFDS went through a chaotic situation of having conflicting bioengineered (BE) labeling requirements on grocery products at the state level that would have been confusing to consumers and cumbersome and costly for processors and food companies. While ASA commends AMS, they urge the USDA to adhere to the statutory definition of bioengineering, which requires mandatory labeling of foods that, "contain genetic material modified through transgenic biotechnology and exempts products that could be developed through conventional breeding techniques or found in nature." ASA further argues that USDA should adopt five percent as the threshold for the presence of bioengineered content required to trigger mandatory disclosure.

For more details, read the ASA news release.