January 9, 2020
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has finalized a guidance document for claims that bioengineered ingredients or animal feed were not used in meat, poultry or egg products. FSIS provides sample claims, including “fed a vegetarian diet with no GMO feed ingredients” and “no GE ingredients.”
Under FSIS’s guidance document, claims must be made in compliance with “standards established by a third-party certifying organization.” In addition, the agency specified certifier-related documentation that it will require before approving label claims.
The guidance document distinguishes between two types of claims: (1) claims “that bioengineered or genetically-modified (GM) ingredients were not used in a meat, poultry or egg product” and (2) “claims that a product was produced from livestock or poultry that were not fed bioengineered or GM feed.”
FSIS published clarification for meat and poultry labeling claims in the Federal Register on December 27, 2019. The document states FSIS will accept current organic certificates to substantiate animal raising claims such as “non animal-by products, NON-GMO and humanely raised.” The new guidance also indicates an asterisk must be used to connect a claim to the certifying body’s logo and website address for third-party certification.
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