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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/

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MicroStrategy Acquires More Bitcoin, Holds More Than 105,000 BTC

MicroStrategy Bitcoin

Rate this post Business analytics firm MicroStrategy has added more Bitcoin to its balance sheet, taking the company’s collective holdings to a whopping 105,085 BTC. According to an announcement from the firm’s CEO Michael J. Saylor, MicroStrategy spent $489 million to add another 13,005 BTC to its treasury. Michael Saylor Announces New Bitcoin Purchase For MicroStrategy Saylor and his company have maintained their belief in Bitcoin’s potential despite the primary crypto’s ongoing price struggles in a volatile market. The company has been pumping the digital asset since last August following the pandemic-induced inflation, which forced investors to seek non-traditional options that safeguard their assets. In its most recent accumulation effort, MicroStrategy snagged 13,005 BTC for an average price of $37, 617 per token. However, the digital asset has declined sharply in the last few days, and one coin is currently trading for $32,500.  As part of its announcement, the firm revealed that its recently formed subsidiary MacroStrategy LLC holds 92,079 BTC of its total balance.  Altogether, the new investment takes MicroStrategy’s combined Bitcoin holdings to a staggering 105,085 coins. At the current spot price, this holding is worth $2.74 billion, with each token amounting to slightly more than $26,000.  MicroStrategy Raised $500M to Procure Its Current BTC Investment Earlier this month it was reported that MicroStrategy was offering senior secured notes due in 2028 to raise half a billion dollars in debt. These notes bore an annual interest rate of 6.125%. The company had originally capped the sale at $400 million, but shortly thereafter it boosted its offer by another $100 million.  Following the sale of its debt offering, the company revealed that it had amassed nearly $489 million, which would be invested in Bitcoin. At the same time, MicroStrategy also announced that it was planning to sell up to $1 billion in stocks and that part of those proceeds would be directed to buying more Bitcoin. Even before its recent purchase, MicroStrategy owned the largest reserve of the flagship crypto among all publicly traded companies. 

The post MicroStrategy Acquires More Bitcoin, Holds More Than 105,000 BTC appeared first on Cryptoknowmics-Crypto News and Media Platform.

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Business analytics firm MicroStrategy has added more Bitcoin to its balance sheet, taking the company’s collective holdings to a whopping 105,085 BTC. According to an announcement from the firm’s CEO Michael J. Saylor, MicroStrategy spent $489 million to add another 13,005 BTC to its treasury.

Michael Saylor Announces New Bitcoin Purchase For MicroStrategy

Saylor and his company have maintained their belief in Bitcoin’s potential despite the primary crypto’s ongoing price struggles in a volatile market. The company has been pumping the digital asset since last August following the pandemic-induced inflation, which forced investors to seek non-traditional options that safeguard their assets.

In its most recent accumulation effort, MicroStrategy snagged 13,005 BTC for an average price of $37, 617 per token. However, the digital asset has declined sharply in the last few days, and one coin is currently trading for $32,500. 

As part of its announcement, the firm revealed that its recently formed subsidiary MacroStrategy LLC holds 92,079 BTC of its total balance. 

Altogether, the new investment takes MicroStrategy’s combined Bitcoin holdings to a staggering 105,085 coins. At the current spot price, this holding is worth $2.74 billion, with each token amounting to slightly more than $26,000. 

MicroStrategy Raised $500M to Procure Its Current BTC Investment

Earlier this month it was reported that MicroStrategy was offering senior secured notes due in 2028 to raise half a billion dollars in debt. These notes bore an annual interest rate of 6.125%. The company had originally capped the sale at $400 million, but shortly thereafter it boosted its offer by another $100 million. 

Following the sale of its debt offering, the company revealed that it had amassed nearly $489 million, which would be invested in Bitcoin. At the same time, MicroStrategy also announced that it was planning to sell up to $1 billion in stocks and that part of those proceeds would be directed to buying more Bitcoin.

Even before its recent purchase, MicroStrategy owned the largest reserve of the flagship crypto among all publicly traded companies. 

READ  MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin Stack Up: Brilliant Moves or Risk?

#Bitcoin #CEO Michael Saylor #MicroStrategy #MicroStrategy BTC Investment

Source: https://www.cryptoknowmics.com/news/microstrategy-acquires-more-bitcoin-holds-more-than-105000-btc/

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Chris Giancarlo: U.S. risks becoming ‘backwater’ without central bank digital currency

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One of the few high-profile public officials to have served under both the Obama and Trump administrations, Chris Giancarlo is a former Wall Street executive-turn-regulator who is widely-respected by nearly all parties on Capitol Hill. As the former Chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, however, his latest venture, the Digital Dollar Foundation, might well test his soft touch with politicians.

The former regulator is now leading the Foundation towards five pilot programs set to launch this year, part of a broader effort to help the United States regain the lead in a race against China towards a functioning CBDC.

According to Giancarlo, however, the US’s priorities when it comes to a CBDC shouldn’t merely be jingoistic:

“What’s very clear, [is] that China intends their digital yuan to be an instrument of state surveillance. […] And this is why it’s one of the reasons why the digital dollar project, we’re so animated, because we feel that our new mission is to make sure central banks wake up to this and the US Fed wakes up to this, that these social values that got us here, the rule of law, a free capital markets, free enterprise, zones of individual economic privacy, are ingrained in a new digital future of the US dollar, and that we don’t allow ourselves to be taken in by what China’s doing and match that state surveillance approach.”

However, the race to a CBDC isn’t merely about maintaining current US values, but also potnetially about unlocking new forms of smart contract-based value for the wider population. 

“The notion of a digital currency, whether it be sovereign and non-sovereign, tied to smart contracts, allows money to solve the old problem of being able to move it in place, i.e. moving around the globe as easily as you could send a text message, but also move it in time. Heretofore, money was a temporal thing, but with a smart contract you can say, I want to program my money today to go to my one grandchild in the future once they graduate college and all of those contingencies can be programmed in. […] With a programmable digital currency, you can program it today to move around the globe in space, but move around the globe in time. And that is such, I think, such a powerful construct.”

Ultimately, this work is part of an effort to ensure that America maintains technological supremacy. 

“You can’t stop the march of technology in time, and if you do, you become a backwater. We in the United States have always been open to innovation and we must be open to this innovation as well. In a prudent way, in a way that’s in correspondence with our society that expects investor protections and a role for government. […] And it’s one that I’m very excited to be involved in.”

Watch the full interview here:

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Chris Giancarlo: U.S. risks becoming ’backwater’ without central bank digital currency

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Thailand SEC Bans Meme Coins, Fan Tokens, NFTs

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Local exchanges in Thailand had been given a deadline until July 11 to submit their new rules for listing tokens that complies with the new guidelines from the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Board has approved the new rules that prohibit digital asset exchanges from providing services in relation to utility tokens and certain types of cryptocurrencies. The rules also specify that the exchanges set a requirement to be imposed in the event that digital tokens issued by their own exchange or related persons are listed on the exchange. In this regard, the token issuer who fails to comply with the white paper and relevant rules in substance could risk having such tokens delisted from the exchange. This new regulatory guideline aims to enhance protection of digital asset traders’ interest.”

The Thai SEC also added that listing rules prohibits local exchanges from providing services that have these following characteristics:

(1) Meme Token – having or no clear objective or substance or underlying, and whose price runs on social media trends.

(2) Fan token: tokenized by the fame of influencers.

(3) Non-Fungible Token (NFT): a digital creation to declare ownership or grant of right in an object or specific right. It is unique and not interchangeable with digital tokens of the same category and type at the equal amount.

(4) Digital tokens which are utilized in blockchain transactions and issued by digital asset exchanges or related persons.

Along with this move is their previous announcement of regulating Decentralize Finance (DeFi) projects in the country, including the issuance of digital tokens.

In the previous announcement, liquidity provider tokens, governance tokens, or tokens issued to those transacting in DeFi projects “must be licensed and must abide by the specified rules”.

The new regulation stipulates crypto exchanges, digital-asset brokerages, digital asset-dealers, private fund managers and investment advisors must be licensed by the Ministry of Finance.

Thai SEC states that, “For traders, it is best to study the DeFi project before getting involved in both technical and security aspects.” They also added that traders “should check whether the service provider is a digital-asset business that is licensed and regulated by the SEC or other regulatory agencies under law.”

This article is published on BitPinas: Thailand SEC Bans Meme Coins, Fan Tokens, NFTs

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Source: https://bitpinas.com/regulation/thailand-sec-ban-meme-tokens/

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