Right to know label
Food Advocacy,  How Food Works

Are You Eating Bioengineered Food?

Bag of groceriesIn the United States, I feel I have a right to know what is in our food supply and how our food is grown.

Global food policy research conducted by the Center for Food Safety confirms that 64 countries, including member nations of the European Union, Russia, China, Brazil, Australia, Turkey and South Africa require standards of mandatory GE food labeling.

The United States is NOT included on the list of governments providing open, accurate information on the source of foods on grocery shelves.

Hence, why I am such a supporter of GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling.

Bioengineered Food Label

As the spread of commercialized genetically engineered food products increase, the number of people exposed to GE foods globally has grown. Labeling of GE food ingredients has become increasingly fundamental to preserving consumer choice and protecting personal health.

Possible Bioengineered Labeling?

On May 4, the United States Department of Agriculture issued its proposed rule for the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS), the GMO-labeling law passed by Congress in July 2016. Under the NBFDS, the USDA was given until July 2019 to finalize a rule that would implement the labeling requirements.

The USDA is seeking public comments about the proposed until July 3, 2018.

The current proposal would require food manufacturers and other entities which label foods for retail sale, to disclose information about bioengineered food and bioengineered food ingredient content, with exceptions.

Food is defined as “intended for human consumption.”

The proposal defines bioengineered (with respect to food as)…

  • (A) food that contains genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques; and
  • (B) for which the modification could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature.”

The proposal is still vague on whether or not  “highly refined foods,” which may contain material from genetically modified plants, will be included. (such as oils, candy, and soda.)

These “bioengineered” foods have long been coined as GMO’s (genetically modified organisms); why is the government avoiding GMO terminology?

And why do the proposed labels look so “healthy?”


Proposed labels to be placed on food
Non GMO Hunt's Label
Hunt’s VOLUNTARILY put these “non-GMO” labels on their products










What does the proposal NOT include?

Scott Faber, Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the EWG, Environmental Working Group explains;  the proposal is much too vague and does not provide practical solutions for our food labeling dilemma.

He concludes:

  1. The draft rule does not say whether or not companies will have to disclose genetically engineered sugars and oils, or ingredients that have been created through new technologies such as gene-editing.  This could exclude over 70% of GMO ingredients.
  2. The draft rule might also exempt foods from the disclosure requirements of the new law when 5 percent or less of the ingredients, by weight, are genetically engineered.  Even if a product has 1% GMO, I want to know!
  3.  If companies choose to make an on-package GMO disclosure, the draft rule would require companies to use the words “bioengineered” or “bioengineered food ingredient,” not the widely known phrases “genetically modified” or “genetically engineered.”                                                                                                                                       So, Hunts, who VOLUNTEERLY placed “non-GMO” labels on their products, would have to change the labeling – despite helping consumers with their clear labeling.
  4. The draft rule provides few rules for companies that choose to disclose GMOs digitally through a QR code, creating the possibility that smartphones won’t read the digital codes consistently.                                                                                                                     What if you don’t have a smartphone?  What if you do not have cell service inside the supermarket?
Information found at Scott Faber’s blog post for AgMag

In other global, civilized countries, food labeling is not as ambiguous.

Salad dressing label from The Netherlands.
Salad dressing label from The Netherlands.

Call to Action

I urge you to think about this issue!  It is my personal opinion, the rise in cancer rates in the United States correlate, to some degree with our dietary habits.

A study, just released in February 2018 was conducted in France and Brazil which concluded ultra-processed foods carry an extra risk of cancer, above and beyond being nutritionally bad for you.

The foods associated with extra cancer risk include:

  • mass produced packaged breads and baked goods
  • sodas and sweetened drinks
  • instant noodles and soups
  • sweet or savory packaged snacks
  • industrialized confectionery and desserts
  • meat balls, chicken and fish nuggets
  • other reconstituted meat products transformed with addition of preservatives other than salt (for example, nitrites)
  • frozen or shelf-stable ready meals
  • Other food products made mostly or entirely from sugar, oils and fats

No need to lecture here – but read my post about processed foods, HERE – PLEASE!


Less-processed foods such as cheese, pasta, and canned vegetables did not raise cancer risks.    Link to the study HERE.

Make your opinion matter and contact Regulations.gov to leave a comment about the proposed “bio-engineered labeling standard.”

HERE IS THE LINK TO LEAVE A COMMENT: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/05/04/2018-09389/national-bioengineered-food-disclosure-standard#open-comment


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