With mounting pressure from consumers to have the Federal Government to step into GMO labeling, the USDA will soon certify non-GMO food with a new verification process and seal.
According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the agency's Agricultural Marketing Service is in the process of developing a "verification program for food products containing genetically modified ingredients," NPR reported. This will not only create more transparency for consumers and producers, but it will help companies that want to certify that their foods are non-GMO do so.
The Process Verified Program will allow companies that want to use the USDA's Non-GMO Label to pay to participate. According to an AMS spokesman, "companies will submit documents such as desk and onsite audits" as well as the the USDA conducting its own audits to verify that the food are being manufactured without GMO ingredients. Food products that pass the verification process will receive the Non-GMO Project Verified seal.
With GMO-free being a marketing advantage, "companies are already lining up to take advantage of this service," Vilsack said about the USDA's new program. SunOpta Inc. recently identified itself as "the first food manufacturing facility in the U.S. to receive USDA Process Verified Program verification for Non-Genetically Modified Organisms/Non-Genetically Engineered products," according to NPR.
Is this a step in the right direction when it comes to knowing whether a product is made with genetically modified organisms?