US bakers call for same GMO and nutrition facts label compliance dates

“Our members still face several procedural and technical hurdles as they work to comply with the immense series of rules by the deadline,”​ said IBA’s president, Nicholas Pyle.

The FDA recently proposed to extend the compliance dates for the nutrition facts label​ to January 1, 2020 for manufacturers with $10m or more in annual sales. Companies with annual sales less than that would receive an additional year to comply.

However, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has not given a compliance date for labeling GMO ingredients, even though the US Congress passed the National Bioengineered Foods Disclosure Standard in 2016.

Redundant costs

“A top concern for IBA members is avoiding redundant costs in designing and printing new labels to comply with new regulations,”​ Pyle said.

“We firmly believe the benefit of requiring new labels printed once to provide that information, then a year or two later to provide additional information is outweighed by the immense cost to the entire food-supply chain and to consumers​.

“We are also encouraging both agencies (FDA and USDA) and Congress to consider a solution to the broader labeling harmonization issue beyond these two regulations (nutrition facts panel and GMO label),”​ he added.

Confusion of ‘added sugar’

On top of the additional packaging costs, IBA also said placing “added sugar” o​n the nutrition facts label could create a “disproportionate burden on the manufacturers of baked goods that undergo yeast fermentation.”

According to the FDA, the current definition of added sugars includes “sugars that are either added during the processing of foods, or are packaged as such, and include sugars (free, mono- and disaccharides), sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices that are in excess of what would be expected from the same volume of 100% fruit or vegetable juice of the same type.”

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