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Case Detail


In re USDA ’Bioengineered’ Food Labeling
On July 3, 2018, WLF filed formal comments with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, urging it not to require manufacturers of highly refined food products (such as oils and sugars) to bear “bioengineered” labeling—even if the products were made from bioengineered ingredients. WLF argued that including highly refined products within USDA’s labeling mandate would contravene Congress’s direction and would violate food manufacturer’s First Amendment rights. The issue arises because Congress in 2016 adopted legislation requiring the labeling of food products containing “bioengineered” food—defined as food containing genetic material that has been modified using in vitro recombinant DNA techniques. WLF argued that the refining process for highly refined foods eliminates all such genetic material. To require such products to bear “bioengineered” labeling would violate manufacturers’ First Amendment rights by requiring them to convey information that is neither factual nor uncontroversial.
Case Status:
Awaiting USDA response.
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