Clements: The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, otherwise known as a national GMO labeling rule, is intended to require the disclosure of bioengineered food ingredients. The standard was signed into law last year and gave USDA two years to come up with a rule by July 2018. AFBF congressional relations director Andrew Walmsley says the USDA rule must not confuse consumers on the safety of biotech crops.
Walmsley: The biggest thing for farmers is that we follow the law, we follow science and it’s implemented in a way that doesn’t disparage a perfectly safe and very important tool that farmers need to meet the challenges of the future.
Clements: Walmsley explains what AFBF requested of the rule.
Walmsley: What we want to see is a rule that doesn’t disparage a perfectly safe and healthy product. This isn’t a health or safety or nutrition standard, it’s purely a marketing standard. And so, keeping that in mind as any rule is being developed, that it is for marketing purposes and a good opportunity to provide more information to consumers.
Clements: The comment period ended Friday. USDA is expected to release a proposed rule later this fall.
Walmsley: So, we’ll see where they are at in the fall and have a much more formal process to have our members and others call in and write and make sure the agency knows the path forward on implementing a good rule.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.