The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has posted a Request for Information (RFI) on a Performance Work Statement to identify potential technological challenges that may impact whether consumers would have access to a bioengineered food disclosure on food packages through electronic or digital methods.
On July 29, 2016, the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 was amended to establish a national bioengineered food disclosure standard and the procedures necessary to implement the national standard. Throughout the process, AMS will engage industry stakeholders and consumers to ensure that the final program is established effectively and with the utmost transparency.
One of the first steps in this process is to award a contract that will deliver two studies to help inform the rulemaking process for the national standard. This contract is contingent on the availability of funding, as determined by Congress. In the interim, AMS is soliciting feedback on a Performance Work Statement covering two studies:
- An Electronic or Digital Disclosure Study regarding the technological challenges for using an electronic or digital link on food packages for the national bioengineered food disclosure standard, as required by the new law.
- A Consumer Use Study evaluating the likelihood of consumer use of such electronic or digital disclosures on food packages to further inform development of the national standard program.
For Vendors: AMS is asking all interested vendors for input on the draft Performance Work Statement found in the RFI, available at www.fbo.gov.
For General Comments: To further encourage public participation as AMS develops the scope for both studies, AMS is asking interested stakeholders to review the RFI and send comments concerning the proposed studies.
AMS will move forward with the study once Congress determines funding levels for the study and the development of the new standard as a whole.
To view the RFI and find information on how to submit general comments on the RFI, please go to www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/gmo. You can also subscribe to get email updates about the progress of the study and the rulemaking process for the national standard.