Whole Foods has notified its suppliers that it will delay the rollout of its planned GMO labeling policy.
The policy will require food suppliers to label any products containing genetically modified (GMO) ingredients that are not third-party verified as non-GMO or organic.
In making the announcement that the company will ‘pause’ the policy rollout, Whole Foods executives said they were motivated by supplier concerns over complying with its policy as well as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. The USDA standard specifies requirements for disclosing foods that are bioengineered but sets no specifications for when and how an on-label non-GMO claim is to be made.
“Given the uncertain details of the federal regulation, we do not expect the verification of non-GMO claims on existing branded products by the previously communicated September 1, 2018 deadline,” the company statement said.
Whole Foods says it will issue further updates and timelines on its GMO labeling policy when it has a better understanding of the federal regulation.