For government purposes, the definition of a bioengineered food is much different than science. Government defines a bioengineered food that contains "detectable genetic material" created through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA) techniques and for which the modification and not through conventional breeding or found in nature.
So numerous strains of organic foods created in labs using chemical and radiation baths under older, less accurate techniques like mutagenesis will be exempt, which is what organic trade groups had lobbied heavily to insure.
By a narrow definition, the current Agricultural Marketing Service list includes:
- Alfalfa (pdf)
- Apple (ArcticTM varieties) (pdf)
- Canola (pdf)
- Corn (pdf)
- Cotton (pdf)
- Eggplant (BARI Bt Begun varieties) (pdf)
- Papaya (ringspot virus-resistant varieties) (pdf)
- Pineapple (pink flesh varieties) (pdf)
- Salmon (AquAdvantage®) (pdf)
- Soybean (pdf)
- Squash (summer) (pdf)
- Sugarbeet (pdf)
Along with all organic food created using mutagenesis, cafeterias, delis, etc. (even the Whole Foods deli counter, and food manufacturers with sales of under $2,500,000 are exempt.
But in a rare win for the public, supplement manufacturers are finally being forced to comply with standards. For medical claims, they simply are able to note that FDA has not evaluated their marketing spin, a benefit provided to them under President Clinton's DSHEA Act of 1994.
Disclosures can be placed where the name and location of the distributor is displayed, usually below the nutrition panel, on the front of the package, or an alternate panel elsewhere.
“The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard increases the transparency of our nation’s food system, establishing guidelines for regulated entities on when and how to disclose bioengineered ingredients. This ensures clear information and labeling consistency for consumers about the ingredients in their food,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “The Standard also avoids a patchwork state-by-state system that could be confusing to consumers.”