USDA Guidance on Voluntary GMO labeling

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) has released guidance on voluntary labeling statements for bioengineered and genetically modified ingredients  or animal feed.

  • Negative claims are “special statements and claims”and
  • are not generically approved and
  • establishments are required to submit labels with negative claims to FSIS for prior approval before using them on labels or labeling.
  • UNLESS  For meat, poultry or egg products with negative claims [i.e. claiming the absence of GMO ingredients] that FSIS has previously approved,
  • [then] the establishment is allowed to change the termsnon-genetically engineered” or “non-GE” to “non-GMO” or “no genetically modified organisms” without approval.”

Essentially if you have USDA regulated product (meat, poultry, or egg) and you want to voluntarily declare “no-GMO” then you must submit your labels for approval, except if you previously received label approval and are swapping terms “non-genetically engineered” or “non-GE” to “non-GMO” or “no genetically modified organisms”.

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