USDA Develops Government Certification Program that Creates Burden for Producers of Non-GMO Foods

FINLAND, Minn—The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today responded to an Associated Press article  reporting that the U.S. Department of Agriculturehas developed a new government certification and labeling program for foods that are free of genetically modified ingredients.

“This is yet another gift to the biotech industry,” said Ronnie Cummins, OCA’s international director. “Instead of requiring the manufacturers of GMO foods to label their products, the USDA wants to penalize producers of non-GMO foods by making them pay for a label to prove their products are GMO-free. If we follow the biotech industry’s talking point that the cost of GMO labels would be passed on to consumers, are we now going to force consumers to pay more to avoid GMO food products—products whose safety has been called into question by hundreds of scientists and doctors? Instead of the other way around?”

“Consumers, more than 90 percent of whom want mandatory GMO labeling laws, should be outraged that their tax dollars will be used to support a program that puts the burden of identifying non-GMO ingredients on food manufacturers whose products are GMO-free, while letting the manufacturers of GMO foods off the hook,” Cummins said.

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