USDA Seeks Comments on Bioengineered Food Testing Methods

The Department of Agriculture last week opened the comment period on draft instructions to support compliance with the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service specifically seeks input on the draft document that provides instructions for companies to select a testing method to determine whether modified genetic material is detectable. The four-page draft document includes general considerations in selecting a test method, laboratory selection considerations and recordkeeping requirements. The definition of bioengineered food excludes foods in which the modified genetic material is not detectable. Selecting a test that meets the standards of performance for detectability testing will allow regulated entities to determine if modified genetic material is not detectable. The final rule establishing National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard was published December 21, 2018. In the rule, USDA indicated it would provide instructions regarding acceptable testing methodology used to verify the absence of detectable modified genetic material. The comment period closes March 4, 2020. Comments should be submitted online at www.regulations.gov.