In a previous blog post, we detailed the regulation for the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and bioengineered (BE) foods under the new National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) in the United States. You may think that the terms of the law are black and white – if a GMO is present in your product, you need to declare its presence on your food label under new regulations. However, as with most things in life, there is a distinct grey area. To uncomplicate the regulations, we put together a guide to understanding the GMO labeling guidelines and the exemptions that may apply to your products. Continue Reading

My previous post, “How Reliable is Your Supplier’s Non-GMO ‘Verified’ Claim?” raised the question of whether incorrect, unsubstantiated or fraudulent non-Genetically Modified Organism (non-GMO) claims would result in a recall, FDA warning or some other sanction. The answer is found in a greater discussion about accountability and liability within the food industry.

With summer fast approaching, let’s think of this in terms of a carnival metaphor. There’s potential for food manufacturers to get caught up in a non-GMO verification “shell game.” You might know the classic shell game, in which a pea is placed underneath three shells and then they are shuffled around to confuse the player. At the end, the player needs to guess which shell the pea is under. As you monitor your supply chain, “verified” non-GMO certificates from suppliers may be shuffled around in your supply chain and you may lose sight of the “pea,” or an ingredient that is not up to specification. Come one, come all – step on up and find the hot sample. Continue Reading

Food industry associations and consumer advocacy groups have influenced the development of many key U.S. food policies and regulations, but the impact of consumer lawsuits upon the regulatory process cannot be denied. Since 2008, the number of class action lawsuits filed against food and beverage companies has increased from approximately twenty to more than a hundred lawsuits annually in recent years. While some of the legal challenges could be dismissed as frivolous, several cases have fueled the evolution of significant labeling and safety regulatory initiatives that are now under consideration by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).    Continue Reading

I’ll be honest – from time to time, I enjoy throwing on my teal yoga pants and visiting my favorite organic supermarket. I love perusing the endless rows of organic and otherwise non-Genetically Modified Organism (non-GMO) products adorning shelf upon shelf. With all of those “verified” and “certified” products smiling down at me, how can I not smile back? After all, like many shoppers, I place my trust in progressive statements on food labels, such as “Organic,” “non-GMO,” “Fair Trade,” “Hormone-Free,” “Allergen-Free,” and the list goes on. Before I leave the store, my cart is adorned with at least three or four items bearing one of these claims. Continue Reading

The Trump Administration’s Executive Orders requiring federal agencies to eliminate two regulations for every new regulation is adversely impacting the agencies responsible for food safety and nutrition. On July 20th, the federal government released the latest Unified Agenda of federal regulatory activities, which contained a new category for regulations requiring further review or consideration.

Within the Spring 2017 agenda, more than 100 regulatory measures were identified under this new category “inactive,” including significant regulations related to food labeling, organic agriculture and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The impactful regulatory measures considered “inactive” in the food industry are detailed below: Continue Reading

It’s no secret that consumers are continually seeking out healthier foods, with a particular emphasis lately on organic foods, dairy-free or meat-free alternatives and products free of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). But should you make a non-GMO claim on your food label? The answer lies in understanding consumer motivations for purchasing one product over another. While these trends are not new, non-GMO claims specifically have been on the rise as top motivators of consumer food choice over the past few years. Continue Reading

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) claims are being spotted more frequently on food labels as the debate over the health of GMO ingredients heats up. Many food manufacturers are trying to get ahead of the regulations by either disclosing the use of GMOs in their products or getting products certified as “Non-GMO.”

Many consumers don’t realize how long GMO foods have been on the market. The first commercially available GMO food made available on the market was a tomato in the 1990s! The rise of GMO foods brought a parallel demand for disclosure on food labels. Continue Reading

In case you haven’t noticed, consumer demand for transparency in food production has been the at the center of the news in the past few months. Most recently, you may have been hearing a lot about the herbicide glyphosate due to its presence in a number of oat and honey products.

According to the National Pesticide Information Center, glyphosate has been in use since 1974 and is now one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. It kills weeds by destroying proteins essential to their growth.  Continue Reading