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Bioengineered Labeling Law, Good or Bad?

I’m not going to say it’s good or bad but I will give you the facts and let you have your own takeaway. As of January 1st of 2022 all food companies must label foods as “Bioengineered” or “BE” if there are any ingredients that are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), with some exceptions which we will discuss. You read that right, they are changing the name of GMOs to BE or Bioengineered.

Starting Off With the Positives

GMOs have not been labeled at all in America until now. As of the new year 2022 companies will be required to label food with GMO ingredients as “bioengineered food”. This will be printed somewhere near the ingredients list. There are three ways companies are able to label food as bioengineered.

  1. “Contains Bioengineered Food Ingredients” printed below ingredients list

  2. A QR code you can scan with your phone that will take you to a link with information about the product

  3. A phone number listed to text to learn more about the product

Products may also be labeled with this symbol as well as one of the three ways listed above.

Now For the Downsides

There are a few loopholes to this labeling system. Not all products will have to have any label as “Bioengineered”. This means sticking to looking for Non GMO Project and USDA Organic labels will still be the best way to know a product is truly free of GMOs.

  1. If meat, poultry or eggs are the first ingredient in a product they do not have to label it as bioengineered.

  2. If the GMO is “highly refined” it is no longer considered a “Bioengineered ingredient”. An example would be corn syrup, soybean oil or sugar. Technically there is no detectable DNA of the bioengineered crop.

To Make Things Clear

  • GMO = BE

  • Genetically Modified Organisms = Bioengineered

  • The only way to truly know if something is free of BE is if it is labeled with the Non GMO Project or USDA Organic.

  • Not all companies with use the BE colorful label

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