Friday, August 12, 2016

A tale of two Pop-Tarts

FoodBusinessNews reported in March 2016:

Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg released a statement to Food Business News revealing plans to label products to be sold nationwide as “Produced with Genetic Engineering” as early as mid-April, in order to comply with Vermont's labeling law, "until a federal solution is reached." Kellogg’s brands include Froot Loops, Special K, Cheez-It, Pop-Tarts and Pringles.

"At Kellogg, we strongly believe in transparency, and that people should know what’s in their food and where it comes from," said Paul Norman, president, Kellogg North America. "We continue to strongly urge Congress to pass a uniform, federal solution for the labeling of G.M.O.s to avoid a confusing patchwork of state-by-state rules

But FoodBusinessNews commented on August 9 on the new federal law signed by Obama on July 29, 2016:

President Barack Obama on July 29 signed into law an act of Congress requiring the mandatory disclosure of foods containing bioengineered ingredients. The law’s most immediate effect was nullification of Vermont’s on-the-package mandatory G.M.O. labeling law that took effect July 1.

The law specifies food manufacturers must disclose bioengineered foods by way of on-the-package text, a symbol or electronic or digital link with language on the package such as “scan here for more food information.” The U.S.D.A. will determine the appropriate language for an on-the-package text disclosure and develop a symbol that may be used for
disclosure. The department also will develop standards that must be observed in disclosing bioengineered foods by means of electronic or digital link.

The option for food manufacturers to disclose bioengineered foods electronically or digitally was perhaps the most controversial provision in the act from the point of view of G.M.O. opponents who sought nothing less than universal on-the-package text disclosure.


The comment about the impact of the federal law on the Vermont law relates to the concept of pre-emption.

Attached please find pictures of two distinct boxes of Pop Tarts. Can you see the difference?

--Pop Tart top view


Same Pop Tart boxes, side view




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