USDA Requests Proposals for Bioengineered Food Disclosure Study

October 19, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) posted a solicitation for vendors to submit proposals to conduct a Study on the Electronic or Digital Link Disclosure.  The study is required by the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (Pub. L. 114-216) 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.

The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard was enacted on July 29, 2016.  AMS has two years to establish the national bioengineered food disclosure standard and the procedures necessary to implement the standard.  Additionally, AMS is required by the statute to complete the Study on the Electronic or Digital Link Disclosure by July 29, 2017.  AMS expects the vendor to meet the following expectations in designing and conducting the study:

  • Meeting the requirements as stated in the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard;
  • Providing an understanding of consumer and retailer needs with respect to using electronic or digital means to access bioengineered food disclosures, including underserved consumers and rural retailers;
  • Including opportunities for public participation; and
  • Informing the Agency about the feasibility of solutions to challenges identified for retailer or consumer access for technical implementation and cost.

On Sept. 1, 2016, AMS solicited public comment during a Request for Information (RFI) for the Study for Electronic or Digital Link Disclosure.  AMS considered the comments received during the RFI, and revised our requirements for what the study will entail, including modifying the study design to align more closely with the factors identified in the statute. 

Vendors may view the entire solicitation at www.fbo.gov (search for solicitation number: AG-6395-S-17-0004).  The solicitation is scheduled to close on Nov. 22, 2016, and AMS anticipates awarding the contract by mid-December, subject to funding.

To view the updated objectives and requirements for the Study for Electronic or Digital Link Disclosure, visit 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. 

Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program