The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has unveiled its GMO labeling law laying out the minimum labeling requirements for food companies and retailers set to go into effect at the start of 2020, with a mandatory compliance date set for the beginning of 2022. As part of the standard, the USDA has created a logo, but the term GMO doesn’t actually appear on it. Instead, the department uses the term “bioengineered” to designate foods or food ingredients achieved through biotechnology.
Companies will have three options when complying with the new rules. They may use the designated symbol (shown in the main photo above), include a QR code for shoppers to scan for more information, or use the term “bioengineered” somewhere in its own labeling, ie: “Made with bioengineered ingredients.”
The USDA has ruled that such labeling will not be needed for food and food ingredients produced using a gene-editing process, such as CRISPR, as these products do not include any DNA from another organism.
There are exemptions, as well. As per the final decision, highly-refined ingredients, such as corn syrup and vegetable oil, are exempt from this rule and will not require a label or designation.