USDA Issues Policy Memo to Ensure Consistency between Labeling Programs

September 19, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has posted a Policy Memorandum stating how AMS will establish consistency between the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (Pub. L. 114-216) and regulations to implement the standard with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.) and the rules to implement the National Organic Program, as required by the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard statute.

With a legal requirement to complete rulemaking within the next two years, AMS is in the initial planning stages of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.  During the rulemaking process, when proposing standards for a national bioengineered food disclosure program, AMS' policy to ensure consistency between the two programs will be as follows:

  • No certified organic products will require disclosure as bioengineered; and
  • No proposed rules for bioengineered food disclosure will require that modifications be made to the USDA organic regulations.

Throughout the rulemaking process for the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, AMS aims to create a transparent process with multiple opportunities for public participation, including providing comment periods and public meetings.

To view the policy memorandum, please go to www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/gmo.  You can also subscribe to get email updates about the progress of the rulemaking process for the national standard.