USDA Not Likely to Meet Deadline for GMO Disclosure

April 26, 2018

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue acknowledged this week during an interview with the National Association of Farm Broadcasting that his agency will probably not meet a Congressionally-imposed deadline for finalizing rules on how food manufacturers must disclose genetically modified organism (GMO) ingredients.

Under the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, enacted in 2016, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is required to publish a final rule by July 29 to provide details on what ingredients are subject to disclosure and how the disclosure can be provided to consumers.  The USDA sent a proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on December 26, 2017, but OMB has yet to complete its review, even though that is supposed to take no more than 90 days.

Even if issued immediately, a proposed rule would likely have a comment period of at least 60 days, and the USDA expects to receive thousands of comments, which will make it challenging to review all the comments and complete a final rule by late July.