The Food Marketing Institute is applauding the USDA's request for comment on the proposed National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standards, which aims to establish what foods and disclosures will be covered and specified by the final rule.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke out in favor of the proposal, saying it would "help bring to customers a consistent way to disclose information regarding bioengineered food products," also known as GMOs.
Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI, also signaled support for the passage of legislation to bring a "clear and consistent national standard" for information about bioengineered food. Sarasin said FMI has been working with the USDA to help move this process along in a way that "provides consistency and clarity" to its 33,000 retail members following a congressional bipartisan compromise reached in 2016.
“We also aligned with the entire value chain to ensure farmers, manufacturers and retailers are working together to provide accurate, simple and unbiased information to our customers," Sarasin said. " We remain focused on consumer education, which will help our customers have the tools they need while they shop."
Additionally, FMI and the Grocery Manufacturers Association will collaborate on a consumer education campaign beginning in June 2018 to help guide consumers to the information they seek with a program that helps share information deeper than what can be found on the label and "well beyond whether the product contains ingredients that result from genetic engineering.”
FMI's SmartLabel program is another way for customers to access detailed information about products, including GMO disclosure. The program was created in 2014 and is projected to cover 30,000 products by June.