KEY STANDARD ISSUES
Ingredients Derived from Bioengineered Sources
Some ingredients, such as oils, starches, and sugars, are made from crops which may be bioengineered. However, the use of bioengineering does not cause a difference in these pure products. The mandatory disclosure on labels is intended to be used for products which contain bioengineered genetic material. When such genetic material is not present in a product, such as those made with these pure products, it would be misleading to consumers to suggest otherwise. Additionally, there is precedent in other countries which do not require mandatory labeling of foods made with these products, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and South Korea.
The Alliance supports a cumulative threshold of 5% for triggering mandatory disclosure for food and beverage products. This amount is consistent with the National Organic Standard, a regulation which is also covered by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). This amount is also consistent with other countries around the world, including Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam. A lower threshold for disclosure would also mean that more products would have to be labeled even though there is no safety concern associated with bioengineering.
Gene editing is different from bioengineering as defined under the law, as traits from other plants or organisms are not introduced for a specific desired trait. Instead, gene editing basically speeds up the natural breeding process of plants by using traits already found in the plant. No DNA from other species is introduced in plants produced through gene editing. The Alliance does not believe that products developed through gene editing should be subject to mandatory disclosure as they do not meet the requirements for disclosure as outlined in the law.