Muddled Message: GMO Labeling Diluted
Under final rules released by the current administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s national labeling standard for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) completely exempts foods made with highly processed ingredients grown with GMOs, including sugar made from sugar beets, high-fructose corn syrup and refined soybean and canola oils. The change will allow 78 percent of products containing GMOs to avoid disclosure, according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Companies don’t have to comply until January 1, 2022, and the new labels will use the term “bioengineered” instead of more common identifiers like “genetically engineered” or “GMO”. Small businesses, to-go food prepared at grocery stores, and meat, eggs or dairy from animals that are fed GMOs, which involves virtually all livestock not certified organic, are exempt from the labeling requirements.
This article appears in the April 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.