Huge Victory: Non-GMO Label for Meat, Eggs Approved for U.S. Use
by Elizabeth Renter
Natural Society, 27 July 2013
The American people want to know whether or not their food has genetically modified components inside. But for the most part, the FDA has resisted any efforts to label foods as GMO-free or containing GMOs. Now, however, advocates for Non-GMO foods have done their work with a different regulatory agency, the USDA, in order to get labeling approved for meats and eggs that also indicates if the animals were fed GM food, signaling a small but important success in the fight for a transparent food industry. You may have heard this news, but we’re trying to spread the word even more!
Meat and eggs derived from animals who were not fed genetically-modified feed can now be labeled as such. Companies like Mindful Meats, Mary’s Chicken, and Hidden Villa Ranch are already approved for the GMO-free label and others will likely join their ranks. But the journey to this point wasn’t a simple one.
Unlike the FDA, who normally controls food regulations, the USDA never used third-party organizations to certify food issues. Now, after a lengthy review of the Non-GMO Project, however, the USDA has determined their certification process is reliable and scientific, and is good enough to satisfy their regulatory rigors.
The Non-GMO Project worked closely with food makers like Mary’s Chicken to develop labeling standards that could be approved by the USDA. These standards needed to be “honest, accurate, and transparent,” according to NaturalNews, three things most of us want from our food regulators.
Related Read: Top 10 Worst GMO Foods for Your GMO Foods List
Prior to this approval, the USDA had denied several meat producers who wanted to use such a label. The reason: the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) was not done with their review of the Non-GMO Project standards and practices. It took the USDA more than a year to make this determination as it’s obviously something they were cautious of.
We started meeting with them to find out what the key objections were and how we navigate through that,” Dave Carter of the National Bison Association told Food Navigator. “I think it will be a very important claim for the meat industry. The non GMO label is the fastest label claim in the marketplace. Consumers want to have that option.”
“It means everything to have this label and we’re very thankful that FSIS worked with us to get this approved,” said David Pitman of Mary’s Chicken, a company that currently has 17 non-GMO verified products on the market.
These companies are rolling out their labeled products right now. While the new labeling only applies to meat and eggs, it’s certainly a victory for those of us who believe we have the right to know what we are eating.