Time is (Not) on Your Side: January 1, 2022 Bioengineered Food Disclosure Deadline is Fast Approaching

July 13, 2021By Karin F.R. Moore & Ricardo Carvajal

While some of us are just starting to recover from graduations, ends of fiscal years, or just looking forward to a summer vacation and listening to the Rolling Stones, time is decidedly not on your side if you have not yet determined if your food or dietary supplements need to be labeled under the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (BE standard).

With the approach of the January 1, 2022 mandatory compliance deadline for the BE standard, manufacturers and importers of food and dietary supplements should work to develop strategies for compliance and evaluating each product’s bioengineered (BE) status if they have not already done so. For those still in the process of doing so, or those who want a refresher on the requirements, we just authored an article for the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society outlining the requirements under the BE standard. Prior posts on the BE Standard and its implementing regulations can be found here, here, and here.

The mandatory disclosure requirement of the BE standard applies to human food, including dietary supplements, that is subject to the labeling requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as well as some products under the jurisdiction of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. There are several express exemptions to the disclosure requirement in the regulations, including an exemption for very small manufacturers, a threshold for inadvertent or technically unavoidable presence of BE substances of up to 5% for each ingredient, and food and supplements certified under AMS’s National Organic Program. The BE standard and its implementing regulations require food containing any amount of a bioengineered substance that is not inadvertent or unintentional to bear a disclosure.

While our article was written for the dietary supplement industry, the requirements are the same for foods.