What’s in Store for GMO and Non-GMO Food Labeling Later in 2018

gmo free labeling update in 2018 consumersConfused by certain food labels? The next few months could bring some clarity or add more confusion, depending on how regulators roll out new GMO food labeling laws.

The concept of “genetically modified organisms,” or GMOs, has always been a murky one. Food manufacturers have grappled with a consistent definition, as well as how to label foods that are GMO-free. The USDA stepped in with a plan to rein in all of that. But with a July 2018 target date for implementation, the clock is ticking — and there’s a lot left unsettled.

Here’s a quick update.

What’s Been Done Already, and What Happens Next?

The issue of GMO labeling laws goes back years, but the first concrete steps to come out of the federal government were in 2016. Congress voted to mandate GMO labeling with a deadline of 2018 for enacting laws. However, it’s unlikely that we’ll have any finalized law this summer, as the USDA has extended the period for public input to the end of August.

As questions mount, regulators have learned that GMO laws and regulations aren’t so simple. We’re just months away from the target deadline, and many questions remain unanswered. What qualifies as GMO or bioengineered? Where do new gene editing technologies such as CRISPR fit into the debate? What should a label say? What should the penalty be for noncompliance? When would food manufacturers actually have to start labeling their products as GMO?

The list goes on, and it could get even longer as the USDA accepts public comments here.

What New GMO Laws Will Mean for You

GMO-Free Labeling Laws update in 2018While the future of GMO labeling laws is unclear, whatever happens will almost certainly affect food manufacturers and distributors everywhere. Any new federal regulations will pre-empt local regulations (if any exist in your area), meaning companies will have to re-examine how their products are made — down to each ingredient.

The good news is that clarity and consistency could help businesses distribute to larger markets. And from a marketing perspective, new laws would add a level of transparency that consumers are demanding. For now, food manufacturers and distributors should prepare by taking a comprehensive look at their processes, ingredient decks, and ingredient suppliers. They should be nimble enough to comply with any new rules right out of the gate. Importantly, that means having all the right partnerships in place to ensure you will be in full compliance.

Is PacMoore Ready for Change?

We’re pioneers in food trends, and we’re ready for any changes that come our way. PacMoore has a solid history of meeting strict specifications for our customers based on consumer preference, restrictive diets and much more. Our team has been watching the GMO debate unfold from the beginning, and we’re ready to act on your behalf — whether it means reconfiguring recipes, updating food labels or anything else you might require.

Rest assured that you’re in good hands with PacMoore. To learn more about how we tailor our blending, extrusion, spray drying, consumer packaging, and other services to meet customer needs, and to find out how we can partner with you to ensure compliance with new GMO laws, contact us today.

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