The Standard requires regulated entities, which includes food manufacturers, importers and certain retailers, to ensure bioengineered foods are appropriately disclosed. Retailers who package food or sell food in a bulk container and/or display are responsible for ensuring that any bioengineered food bears a BE disclosure or that a bulk display includes signage identifying the food as BE. Importers are subject to the same disclosure and compliance requirements as domestic entities. “Very small” food manufacturers are defined as manufacturers with annual receipts below $2,500,000. Very small food manufacturers are exempt from the requirements of the NBFDS.
The Standard exempts food served in restaurants or similar retail food establishments. “Similar retail food establishments” is defined as:
- a cafeteria
- a lunch room
- food stand
- food truck
- transportation carrier (such as a train or airplane)
- saloon, tavern, bar, lounge, other similar establishment operated as an enterprise engaged in the business of selling prepared food to the public
- salad bars, delicatessens, and other food enterprises located within retail establishments that provide ready-to-eat foods that are consumed either on or outside the retailer’s premises.
The Standard defines bioengineered foods as those that contain detectable genetic material that has been modified through certain lab techniques and cannot be created through conventional breeding or found in nature.
- The implementation date of the Standard is January 1, 2020, except for small food manufacturers, whose implementation date is January 1, 2021.
- The mandatory compliance date is January 1, 2022. Regulated entities may voluntarily comply with the Standard until December 31, 2021.
If a regulated entity uses a food on the List of Bioengineered Foods, they are required to keep customary and reasonable business records regarding the food.
Regulated entities have several disclosure options: text, symbol, electronic or digital link, and/or text message. Additional options such as a phone number or web address are available to small food manufacturers or for small and very small packages.