On May 14, 2015 the Associated Press (AP) reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed a voluntary certification and labeling program for companies desiring to market their food products as free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According to AP writer Mary Clare Jalonick, the proposed program will establish testing and verification methods to determine whether a company’s food products contain GMOs. Jalonick asserted that under the program, if USDA determines that a specific food product does not contain GMOs, that food product will be permitted to be labeled as both GMO free and “USDA Process Verified.” Furthermore, Jalonick stated that the labeling program will be voluntary and funded solely by the participating companies.
According to Jalonick, information regarding the proposed GMO labeling program was detailed in an internal USDA letter, issued by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on May 1, 2015, and sent to USDA employees. Jalonick claimed that AP had obtained a copy of the letter in questioned. Nevertheless, at the time of this post, USDA has not made an official statement regarding the alleged GMO labeling program.
Written by M. Sean High - Staff Attorney
May 15, 2015