- Debra Topham
“Genetically engineered” – Suing the USDA
The Center for Food Safety [CFFS] filed suit in Sacramento, California, against the United States Department of Agriculture [USDA], for failing to move quickly enough to implement federally mandated regulations on genetically engineered foods. The full filing can be read here.
In their suit, CFFS states, “The American people have advocated for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods for nearly two decades.” They go on to argue that a delay, is causing harm. Specially they say:
“Congress placed express deadlines in the statute for USDA’s compliance…[to issue a] standard for GE foods…to meet that…deadline, Congress required that the study on digital and electronic disclosures be completed by….July 29, 2017. 10. That express statutory deadline has now passed, and USDA has failed to publicly release the study, or provide for public comment….delay of this process is likely to delay the rules themselves, causing still more harm to the public and the stakeholders, who have already waited many years. USDA must act now….to prevent further statutory violations and further harm to the consumers.”
No matter the outcome of the suit, consumers want information on their food labels. Consumers want to be able to pick up a food label and make a choice about that food. The question many consumers ask is: Does this food align with my food philosophy? Knowing if a food does or does not contain genetically engineered food is critical to making this decision.
What does this mean for the industry? Brand owners, contract manufacturers, suppliers, flavor houses, etc.. will need to know what genetic foods are in their products. They will need to document and communicate well. Consumers will expect that all “genetically engineered” information will be correct!