As the new GMO labeling regulations await a final signature from President Barak Obama, brands nationwide who use Genetically Modified Organisms in their products are preparing for the the forthcoming USDA guidelines.
Various major food makers had already been in the process of updating their labeling to adhere to the comparatively stringent laws recently passed by the state of Vermont. Others, meanwhile, have voluntarily listed their GMO ingredients to answer the rising demands of consumers who want brand transparency. Those laws, which will now be preempted by the new national GMO laws, called for detailed and explicit on-pack labeling for all products that contain genetically modified ingredients. Failure to adhere to these laws would have resulted in a fine of $1000 a day.
While the new federal regulations are likely to go through a few revisions before being put into effect, manufacturers who have already listed GMO ingredients in preparation for the Vermont law are left with questions. General Mills, for example, have already applied GMO labeling on their packaging below the nutrition label. Following suit will be Mars Candies and Campbell’s Soup. It’s unclear whether the new regulations will make it necessary for them to make further changes to their packaging.
Meanwhile, many other manufacturers are anxiously awaiting word on whether the new GMO labeling requirements will necessitate QR codes, symbols or on package descriptors of their GMO ingredients. In any case, artwork and labeling will for many brands will need to be tweaked, or even overhauled completely, depending on the packaging and what the USDA guidelines stipulate.