While the debate over GMOs rages on, the United States Department of Agriculture has stepped in to offer what activists have requested for years: a verified GMO-free label.
The organization has developed an official "USDA Process Verified" label, which would also indicate that the product is GMO-free, for approved companies to tack onto their foods, reports the AP.
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The certification is the first of its kind, would be voluntary — and companies would have to pay for it. If approved, the foods would be able to carry a "USDA Process Verified" label along with a claim that they are free of GMOs.
Previously, companies seeking to market their products as being free of genetically engineered foods had to look to organizations outside the government, like the Non-GMO Project, for labeling and certification. The hope is that this development may open the door for mandatory GMO labeling, like that required by the European Commission.
But this is a great first step. It's a sign the U.S. government is finally starting to take the GMO issue seriously, and will help empower consumers to make their own food-based health decisions.
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