Tags: GMO | GMO-free | foods | verified | program | voluntary | seal

How Can You Tell If a Food is GMO?

By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 12:37 PM


The controversial use of GMOs in the U.S. food supply has many people making an effort to avoid eating the genetically modified organisms.

Although many consumer groups have called for labeling of foods that contain GMOs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has not changed regulations to require such labeling. But in May 2015, the government agency did create a voluntary program that will allow food manufacturers to apply for the agency’s Process Verified Program to assure consumers that their products are GMO-free.

Special: GMO Foods: Are We Unknowingly Poisoning Our Families?

The USDA agreed to allow a large food manufacturer, SunOpta Inc., according to NPR, to certify its foods as GMO-free through a program that was already in place. The Process Verified program has allowed companies and growers to verify things like “age, source, feeding practices, or other raising and processing claims,” the USDA website said.

NPR reported that after the announcement that SunOpta would receive a Non-Genetically Modified Organisms/Non-Genetically Engineered product seal, numerous other companies expressed an interest in getting the same verification.

Although many hailed the new verification as a step in the right direction, organizations like the Non-GMO Project will continue the fight to make labels mandatory for all foods that contain GMOs.

“The USDA has NOT created its own non-GMO standard. Rather, as part of the existing AMS PVP, it has signed off on one company’s own non-GMO practices,” the Project said on its website. “There is no transparency as to what these practices are, and they are not based on a third party standard.”

Special: Are We Unknowingly Poisoning Our Families With GMO Foods?

The Project said the problem with the Process Verified program in regard to GMOs was that it doesn’t set up standards to determine non-GMO products, and it doesn’t require transparency from the companies applying for verification.

For consumers trying to avoid eating GMOs, the Project offers its own verification program, through which companies can receive The Non-GMO Project Verified Seal.

To assure the products that receive the seal, which are listed on the organization’s website, are GMO-free, the Project requires “testing of all at-risk ingredients – any ingredient being grown commercially in GMO form must be tested prior to use in a verified product.”

The verification process borrows regulatory thresholds from the European Union, where products containing more than 0.9 percent GMO must be labeled, the organization’s website said. After initial tests, annual audits, on-site inspections and reviews assure continued compliance.

Special: GMO Foods: Are We Unknowingly Poisoning Our Families?

Related Stories:

Top 9 Foods Full of GMOs


Top 5 Ways to Avoid GMO Foods


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The controversial use of GMOs in the U.S. food supply has many people making an effort to avoid eating the genetically modified organisms. Although many consumer groups have called for labeling of foods that contain GMOs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has not changed...
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Friday, 05 Jun 2015 12:37 PM
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