On Tuesday 3 July, 2018, TACD’s Food Policy Committee submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) addressing concerns that the labelling format for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) proposed by the USDA was both impractical for consumers and out of line with the format employed by 64 other countries that require labelling of GM foods.
The Department is proposing not to call GMOs by the names genetically engineered or genetically modified, but rather to call them “BE” for “bio engineered”. Moreover, the Department is recommending that companies use a QR computer code to convey information about GM foods rather than on-package labelling already in use by some U.S. food companies.
QR codes require the purchasers of food to scan each package of food with a smartphone to obtain information about its GMO status.
The TACD Food Committee comments recommend changes to the USDA proposals in several areas but insist that the USDA employ the common abbreviations: GE or GMO and place them on the front of the packages so that consumers can quickly understand the GMO status of the food.
More extensive comments are included in the letter.
The USDA is required by US law to finalize the regulations by the end of July 2018.