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USDA Reveals Non-GMO Certification Label

The USDA has developed a government certification and labeling for foods that are free of genetically modified ingredients, a voluntary paid program that would allow an on-pack non-GMO claim and “USDA Process Verified” label.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack outlined the plan in a letter to department employees earlier this month, according to published reports. Vilsack wrote that the certification was being created at the request of an unidentified “leading global company.”

The move comes amid the urging of some consumer groups to require labeling of GMOs. Many manufacturers of foods free of GMOs use the label developed by the nonprofit Non-GMO Project. The USDA’s organic label certified that foods are free of GMOs, but many non-GMO foods are not organic.

The certification reportedly is being created through the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service. Vilsack has declined to comment on the program, noting in his letter that the certification “will be announced soon, and other companies are already lining up to take advantage of this service,” according to published reports.

The proposed labeling program is similar to a House bill introduced earlier this year that would provide for voluntary USDA certification and would override any individual state laws that require the labeling.




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