June 21, 2013
WASHINGTONIn a modest victory for the anti-GMO movement, a label that relates to the absence of genetically-modified food for meat and liquid egg products is said to have received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The label states that meat certified by the Non-GMO Project is derived from animals that have not eaten feed containing such genetically-modified ingredients as alfalfa, corn and soy, The New York Times reported.
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization that offers third-party verification and labeling for non-GMO foods and products. A copy of USDA's decision could not be immediately obtained Friday from the Non-GMO Project.
States across the United States have introduced legislation that would require foods with GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, to carry special labels. No such requirement exists under federal law, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has maintained that genetically-modified foods are as safe as conventional foods.
USDA's decision marks the first time the agency has approved a non-GMO label claim, according to the Times article.
In a statement to the newspaper, Catherine Cochran, a USDA spokeswoman with the agency's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), said FSIS "allows companies to demonstrate on their labels that they meet a third-party certifying organization's standards, provided that the third-party organization and the company can show that the claims are truthful, accurate and not misleading."
Cochran also told the Times USDA's decision did not reflect "any new policy regarding non-GE or non-GMO products."
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