Information on Bioengineered Ingredients
In compliance with the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, some of Swanson Health Product’s labels will now bear the statement "Contains a bioengineered food ingredient."
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard?
The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law directed the USDA to establish a national mandatory standard for disclosing foods that are bioengineered.
The Standard defines bioengineered foods as those that contain detectable genetic material that has been modified through certain lab techniques and cannot be created through conventional breeding or found in nature.
Under the FDCA at 21 U.S.C. §321(ff)(3), dietary supplements are considered a food; therefore this requirement applies to both foods and dietary supplements.
Which kinds of foods are bioengineered (BE)?
The USDA’s List of BE (bioengineered) foods includes the following list of ingredients:
- Apple (Arctic™ varieties)
- Eggplant (BARI Bt Begun varieties)
- Papaya (ringspot virus-resistant varieties)
- Pineapple (pink flesh varieties)
- Salmon (AquAdvantage®)
- Squash (summer)
Any ingredients that are derivatives of the following ingredients may also be BE. An example of a corn derivative is maltodextrin. An example of a soy derivative is tocopherols. All of the current Swanson Health Products items with BE disclosures come from ingredients with BE derivatives. This will likely be the case for future products with BE disclosures. Please note that while a disclosure means at least one of the ingredients in the formula—either active or inactive—comes from a BE source, that the particular ingredient(s) is not mentioned. You may need to do your own research or speak with one of our product specialists to determine which one, if necessary.
What does it mean that my product package says that it "Contains a bioengineered food ingredient"?
It means that at least one ingredient in the product was produced through the use of bioengineering, which is another way to say genetically modified. Genetic modification is a breeding method that introduces characteristics from one species into another. Although bioengineered foods are common in the U.S. they are not common in Swanson® brand products. Out of around 1,700 foods and dietary supplement in our private product line, only around 60 require this disclosure. It’s our preference to use non-BE products when possible. It’s important to note that organic ingredients do not come from BE seeds, so whenever you see the USDA’s organic symbol, there will be no BE ingredients in that product.
Why do some food or supplement labels have different BE statements?
Although there are four possible disclosure methods (text statement on product, BE symbol, QR code, text message available by phone), Swanson Health Products has chosen to disclose using the “Contains a bioengineered food ingredient” statement on the labels and the website.
Are bioengineered foods safe?
According to the National Academy of Sciences and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), eating bioengineered foods has not been shown to pose a risk to human health. Bioengineered foods have been in wide use in the food supply since being introduced into the market in 1998.
Please see https://www.fda.gov/food/consumers/agricultural-biotechnology for more information.
Additional resources if you would like more information from global organizations who have approved the use of bioengineered foods, please refer the following pages.