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The USDA’s Proposed National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard

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On May 3, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) released its much-anticipated proposed rule to establish a national standard for the disclosure of bioengineered ingredients in certain food products. The public comment period on the proposal has begun and runs through July 3, 2018. The proposed rule sheds light on certain aspects of the disclosures that food manufacturers and others will be required eventually to provide. But the USDA’s proposal leaves significant questions unanswered, providing an opportunity for the public to shape the final rule in critical ways.

Background

The USDA’s rule is promulgated under the 2016 National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard Act. It preempts the GMO labeling regimes of several states, including Vermont, and requires the USDA to issue a final rule on the disclosure of bioengineered ingredients in food products by July 29, 2018. You can read more about the background of the Act and the actions undertaken by the USDA prior to the release of its proposed rule here.

Definition of “Bioengineered” Ingredients

The proposed rule requires disclosure of “bioengineered” ingredients. Under the Act, “bioengineered” (or “BE”) means food “(A) that contains genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques; and (B) for which the modification could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature.”

The proposed rule is silent as to whether ingredients that are genetically modified through other techniques, such as gene editing, are covered. But the USDA does provide some clarifying guidance on what constitutes a “bioengineered” food or ingredient. Its proposed rule offers a list of “Commercially Available BE Foods” that have been “highly adopted” in the food industry, and a list of “Commercially Available BE Foods” that are “not highly adopted.” Only food products containing ingredients on these lists will be subject to the anticipated disclosure rules.

Foods are “highly adopted” where 85% or more of the crop produced in the U.S. is “bioengineered”—including canola, field corn, and soybeans. Foods are “not highly adopted” where less than 85% of the U.S. crop is bioengineered—including apples with non-browning cultivars, sweet corn, papaya, potato, and summer varieties of squash. The proposed rule provides a process by which the lists can be updated depending on changes in technology and food cultivation.

Disclosure Options

Except for certain exemptions (more on that below), if a food product appears on, or contains an ingredient on, either the “highly adopted” or “not highly adopted” list, regulated entities will be required to make a disclosure on the label of that food product or not make a disclosure if they have documented verification that the food is not a bioengineered food or that it does not contain a bioengineered food ingredient.

The proposed rule allows regulated entities to choose from at least three disclosure options for non-exempt foods: a text disclosure on a food label, a symbol disclosure, or an electronic link disclosure. The USDA is considering a text message disclosure option as well. Under this proposed option, the company would be required to include a statement on the food label directing the consumer to a number to text for more information about the food. The number must provide an immediate response with only the required text disclosure.

If a regulated entity uses a text disclosure on a food label, the disclosure requirement would vary depending on which list the food or food ingredient appear. For food products made from ingredients on the “highly adopted” list, the regulated entity would disclose that the food product “Contains a bioengineered food ingredient.” For food products made with ingredients on the “not highly adopted list,” USDA proposes to give regulated entities the discretion to use the disclosure “May contain a bioengineered food ingredient” instead.

For the symbol disclosure option, the USDA proposes three symbols for public comment (along with black-and-white versions of each).

For the electronic link disclosure option, the USDA proposes to allow regulated entities to include a link on food packaging that can be scanned by a smartphone, at which point the user’s smartphone will open a website containing the required disclosures. The USDA seeks comments on text statements that would accompany the digital link—for example, “Scan icon for food information.” Regulated entities that use digital link disclosures would also be required to include a telephone number on the food label that would allow consumers to call at any time of day and receive the required disclosure.

The possible text message disclosure option would allow regulated entities to provide a number on food packaging and an instruction to send a text message to that number “for more food information.” After sending a text message to that number, the consumer would receive a text message in response containing the required disclosure for that food product.

Entities responsible for disclosure would be required to maintain records necessary to substantiate compliance with the standards for individual disclosure options, including the type and wording of the disclosure used, and to substantiate the claim included in the disclosure or implied by the absence of a disclosure statement.

Exemptions from the Labeling Requirements

The proposed rule exempts a number of foods and food manufacturers from the labeling requirements. Exempted foods include animal products (e.g., meat or eggs) from animals that consume feed containing bioengineered ingredients; food certified as organic under the USDA’s national organic program; and food served in restaurants or similar retail food establishments, including cafeterias, food stands, and bars.

The USDA is weighing different options for two categories of additional exemptions: an exemption based on the relatively low level of bioengineered ingredients in a food product, and an exemption for small food manufacturers based on the manufacturers’ annual receipts. The USDA seeks public comment on the appropriate thresholds for these exemptions, and proposes several different options for consideration.

Proposed Compliance Dates

The USDA proposes a compliance deadline of January 1, 2020, with a delayed compliance date of January 1, 2021 for small food manufacturers. The USDA’s proposed deadlines for bioengineered food disclosures are intended to align with the Food & Drug Administration’s extension of the deadlines to comply with updated Nutrition Facts, Supplement Facts and Serving Size labeling requirements to the same dates.

Final Thoughts

The USDA’s statutory deadline to issue a final rule, July 29, 2018, is fast approaching. But it likely will not meet it because the proposed rule contains a number of unanswered questions, many relating to critical issues such as how the presence of “bioengineered” ingredients will be disclosed and which foods and food manufacturers will be exempted from the labeling requirements.

These unanswered questions also mean that the final rule is likely to be influenced significantly by public comments. Food manufacturers, retailers, consumers, industry groups, and other interested parties have an important opportunity to shape the final contours of the USDA’s bioengineered food labeling rules.

Source: https://www.bioloquitur.com/usdas-proposed-national-bioengineered-food-disclosure-standard/

Blockchain

Shiba Inu’s days in the sun may be over; here’s why

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In a market full of investment-worthy coins, there are a few meme-coins such as Shiba Inu that do not offer much value, be it in terms of use-case or a strong network. Thanks to its strong community though, SHIB managed to surprise the entire crypto space.

However, it seems the community is not what it used to be anymore.

Shiba Inu sees a dump

On September 16, SHIB got listed on Coinbase pro, and people went into a frenzy. The meme-coin witnessed a 28.87% growth in 1 day.

This is the highest single-day growth since May and even then, SHIB could not breach its long-established resistance level of 0.00001010. SHIB has been stuck under it since May.

Shiba Inu’s price rose by 28.8% 48 hours ago | Source: TradingView – AMBCrypto

But that did not stop the SHIB supporters from reacting strongly. Within 48 hours, over 6.04 trillion SHIB was bought out of the market, figures that were last seen on July 26. This further led to the supply on exchanges falling to a 4-month low.

Shiba Inu’s supply on exchanges at a 4-month low | Source: Santiment – AMBCrypto

Why you should stay away from SHIB?

This kind of behavior is the exact reason why SHIB is an untrustworthy asset because it is literally treated like a pump and dump asset. The instances observed yesterday are similar to what we saw at the beginning of the July rally.

Its own community does not take it seriously and only appears during a price rise to cash out as much as possible. Active addresses and transaction volumes remain dormant and pretty low, regularly, and rise only when there is a price rise.

Shiba Inu’s transactions volumes | Source: Santiment – AMBCrypto

In fact, long-term holders cash out at the first sign of profits, too. Yesterday over 3.3 quadrillion coin days were destroyed, levels similar to which were earlier noticed, in July, showing the movement of old coins. If they had kept their holdings instead, the price would have remained stable.

Shiba Inu’s coin days destroyed | Source: Santiment – AMBCrypto

Adding to the pump and dump narrative, is the fact that in less than 24 hours, MVRV fell. Down from the strength of 2.0 into the negative zone at press time.

Shiba Inu’s MVRV in the negative zone | Source: Santiment – AMBCrypto

Simply put, there is no real value coming into the coin from the very loyal SHIB community as of now. However, due to its fanbase and hyped DOGE, it will keep blipping on the crypto radar every now and then.

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/shiba-inus-days-in-the-sun-may-be-over-heres-why

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Blockchain

Making sense of Solana’s ‘extremely rapid’ growth

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When Solana experienced a crash right after hitting a new all time high on 9 September, traders and experts tried to make sense of the event. On “The Best Business Show,” investment expert Anthony Pompliano interviewed Kyle Samani, co-founder and managing partner at Multicoin Capital, to discuss the rising star-turned-meteor, that Solana has turned out to be.

From 4 cents to over $200

Pompliano began by discussing Multicoin Capital’s investment in Solana. He calculated that the initial investment had gone up roughly 3750 times since the initial round, when one SOL had been at $0.04.

For his part, Samani said,

“Solana today is growing at an extremely rapid pace. Users being on-boarded, assets being issued, stablecoins going into it – all of these things. Look at the last nine days: it’s just a vertical line from, call it a billion in assets to like 10 billion.”

While listing out possible factors for Solana’s success, Samani cited Solana’s speed and network, its NFT platform Metaplex, the rise in SOL’s price, and the stablecoins issued.

Network > Price

Inevitably, Pompliano brought up Solana’s crash – though he admitted calling it so was “hilarious,” in the context of the alt coin’s growth. However, Samani’s answer was a surprising one. He claimed that he tried to ignore prices and didn’t refer to Coin Gecko or Coin Market Cap. Rather, he preferred to focus on Solana’s network and its growth. He further explained,

“Our time horizon is measured in years, not weeks or months. So the question we will always ask ourselves, is you know, is this network compounding at a sufficiently fast rate? And if you really go dig into developer activity, user on-boarding, dollar flow in the system. . .all of those things right now are compounding at an astounding rate and I don’t think that’s going to slow down.”

Furthermore, the following infographic presents data on Solana transfers.

Could Solana kill Ethereum?

Samani spoke about Metaplex and how the NFT platform came during the NFT Boom of summer 2021. He noted Ethereum’s high gas fees and how many users saw Solana as a faster alternative. Even so, Samani admitted that he thought it was “improbable” for Solana to displace Ethereum. Instead he suggested the two would likely co-exist.

Samani also addressed a common criticism aimed at Solana, regarding the its centralized nature, due to the number of validators and the expensive hardware required to run it.

Samani called the criticism “valid” but “irrelevant,” pointing out that the trade-off meant better performance for users, reiterating the network’s rapid growth.

At press time, there were between 974 and 1000 validators on the Solana mainnet. Samani’s assessment of the alt coin was simple but memorable. He said,

“I don’t think there’s going to be another Solana.”

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/making-sense-of-solanas-extremely-rapid-growth

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Will Bitcoin make a pitstop at $85,000, before racing to $100,000

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Even though Bitcoin has been making no major moves of late, the market’s bullishness on the coin continued making headlines, and all for the right reasons. After all, the king coin surprised the market before, with massive its moves that rendered skeptics silent. 

Bitcoin to $100K, by the end of the year is a much-anticipated move by the market. As we enter the last quarter of this year, Bitcoin is expected to push towards that major psychological barrier. However, even though Bitcoin presented a solid recovery from the May crash, at the time of writing, the effects of the September 7 flash crash hadn’t completely worn out. 

Nonetheless, as BTC presented around 3% daily gains and traded at the $48.5 level at press time, the market once again eyed BTC for some major moves. But before Bitcoin actually makes a move towards the $100K, its last stop would be the $85K mark which will confirm an upward move to $100K. 

The above observation was part of a market report by trading platform Decentrader ,which presented bullish signals in the near term, for BTC. It presented how we it could be setting up for a major run that first reaches $85,000 before breaking through the psychological barrier of $100,000, thereby making for an explosive Q4 2021. 

BTC looking hyper bullish 

In spite of BTC trading below $50K throughout the week, on-chain metrics have led analysts to stay bullish on Bitcoin price action. A report stated that the constantly decreasing supply of BTC on exchanges put upwards pressure on price in the medium term. With demand increasing as supply reduces, the price would go up. 

Further, another factor that contributed to Bitcoin’s bullish mid-term trajectory was its SOPR which presented a similar trend to the months that followed the March covid crash. After the summer crash where SOPR was heavily printing green candles, some minor selling at a loss was observed on this pullback from $50,000 too. Thus, SOPR flashed a sort of buy-the-dip opportunity as final sellers get flushed out before it moves higher, as was observed in Q4 2020. 

Additionally, Active Address Sentiment Indicator had reset with price change lower than active address change. With a pullback in prices alongside constant network growth, the market will look to catch up with network growth by noting price gains. 

Thus, the report presented a hyper-bullish possibility of Bitcoin reaching $85K by the end of Q4. However, Bitcoin’s options market didn’t look too big on gains at the moment with funding rate flashing negative signs. Further BTC’s global open interest by expiry indicated year-end expectations of around $65K which is almost $20K less than the target of $85K. 

So, is $100K too far?

Well, not really. The reason being that, from the July local low of around $30K Bitcoin registered almost 75% gain to reach the multi-month price high of over $52K. Notably from the current consolidating prices, another 75% price gain would land Bitcoin to $85K. So a rally like that over the next three months won’t be a big surprise. 

Thus, while BTC was consolidating, a squeeze upward should characterize the remainder of this year, similar to events from 2020. 

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/will-bitcoin-make-a-pitstop-at-85000-before-racing-to-100000

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