What Will Happen After We Have GMO, or BE, Food Labels?

The Lempert Report
September 14, 2018

While there is no conclusive study that shows just how many foods contain GMOs and will have to carry the new label, the reality is that almost anything with corn or soybeans will carry the label.

More than 90 percent of both crops are bioengineered in the U.S., and corn and soy derivatives go into many processed foods. Much of the sugar produced derives from sugar beets, nearly all of which are genetically engineered. Somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of processed foods on the market today have a GM ingredient, but, here is the kicker -  many of those foods may not require a label according to the proposed rules.

Highly processed ingredients like high fructose corn syrup have little to no traceable DNA in them, and so the U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn’t require manufacturers to add a label to indicate those bioengineered foods. Corn syrup and soybean oil are in tens of thousands of foods, and they won’t carry the BE label.

USDA regulations allow companies to choose between three options: write out the warning (as in “contains a bioengineered food ingredient”), include a BE label, or use a QR code that would link the consumer to a page disclosing all the information.

The GM crops grown for human consumption are corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beet, papaya, squash, eggplant, potato, and apples.