The US President, Barack Obama, last week signed into law a GMO labelling bill which will require food which contains genetically modified (GM) ingredients to be labelled as such for the first time.

President Obama signed into law S. 754, which directs the US Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national mandatory bioengineered food disclosure standard.

The new law will require most packaging to carry a label, symbol or electronic code readable by smartphone that tells the consumer whether the food contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) now has two years to write up the rules regarding GMO labelling.

The USDA issued a statement saying that a working group has already been working to develop a timeline for rulemaking and to ensure an open and transparent process for effectively establishing this new program.

“We are committed to providing multiple opportunities for engagement, and will have more information about this very soon,” the statement said.

In response to the new law, the President and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association in the US, Pamela G. Bailey, said that this legislation will open a new era for transparency in ingredient information for consumers.

This, she said, will be by requiring disclosure of genetically engineered ingredients for families in every state across the nation.

“Food and beverage companies fully embrace the importance of making available to consumers the information they want about their products, and are already doing something about it.”