In July 2016, with the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) support, Congress passed the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, which preempts a patchwork of state laws mandating labeling of food products containing Genetically Modified Organisms ( GMOs).
The law set a deadline for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to release rules for complying with that law by July 29, 2018. USDA took steps toward implementing the law, and while a proposal for the rule was not expected until later this year, USDA was working to publish an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to pose questions to the public and stakeholders to get feedback on the best way to approach the labeling law. However, the ANPR was withdrawn under the Trump Administration along with other actions that were in process at the end of the Obama Administration. In addition, under a new executive order aimed at reducing regulations, USDA may need to find two other regulations to eliminate before it finalizes the rule in 2018.
It’s unclear how exactly the executive order will impact the implementation of the GMO labeling law and other rules required by statute, but more direction is expected after the anticipated confirmation of Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture.