SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - North AmericaEU edition | Asian edition

News > Regulation

Approval of non GMO meat label is 'huge win' for industry, consultant says

4 commentsBy Hank Schultz , 02-Jul-2013
Last updated on 02-Jul-2013 at 19:37 GMT

The new label applies to meat and liquid egg products
The new label applies to meat and liquid egg products

The US Department of Agriculture has approved a non GMO label for meat and liquid egg products, demonstrating that the animals’ feed was free of genetically modified corn, soy or other feed.

The label allows meat producers to use certification from the Non GMO Project to back the claim that their products are not from genetically modified inputs.  It is the first time that USDA has allowed such a claim.

Several meat producers had requested to use such a label (USDA must approve all meat labels pre-market) but were denied on the basis that the department had not vetted the standards and practices of the Non GMO Project. That review is now complete.

The USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service “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,” Cathy Cochran, a U.S.D.A. spokeswoman, was quoted in the Times.

“Meat and eggs cannot be tested themselves for GMOs – that’s why we test the animal feed. The supplemental language will help clarify that,” said Megan Westgate, Executive Director of the Non-GMO Project in a statement on the organization’s website.

Long gestation period

The review process lasted for more than a year and included two trips by Non GMO Project officials to Washington DC to meet with regulators. Part of that process was to get all of the regulatory stakeholders, FSIS, FDA and others, at the same table, according to Dave Carter, of Crystal Springs Consulting and the National Bison Association.

“We started meeting with them to find out what the key objections were and how we navigate through that. The main objective we had in January was to get everybody in the same room around the same table,” Carter told FoodNavigator-USA.

“I think it will be a very important claim for the meat industry.  The non GMO label is the fastest growing label claim in the marketplace.  Consumers want to have that option,” Carter said.

More differentiated marketplace

Carter said the new label claim will improve the market by providing clear delineation between products, giving consumers more information.

“My personal philosophy is having a healthy, sustainable marketplace is about differentiated products.  If producers, especially smaller producers or those with innovative products, don’t have the opportunity to label their products with those attributes, there is nothing to differentiate them from the generic commodities out there,” he said.

“It’s a huge win for the industry. Monsanto and the others really are resistant to the labeling of products, whether they have GMOs in them or were produced without them. I think it’s also a huge win for the customers. It allows them to make the choice in the marketplace,” Carter said.

Interaction with 'grass fed' claim

There are some issues still to be worked out, Carter said, including how this new label will complement and interact with the existing “grass fed” claim.

“It’s one of the things that we are still trying to navigate through, to marry the certified grass fed claims with the non GMO claims. The grass fed claim allows you to feed the animals alfalfa. Now with the approval of GMO alfalfa, that alfalfa will have to be tested,” he said.

In the end, though, Carter said all the rigmarole is worth it.  The better food producers can connect with their customers, the better for everyone.

“I really think the more that producers can have that direct relationship with their customers the greater the commitment to healthy food, healthy land and healthy families,” he said.

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter

Get FREE access to authoritative breaking news, videos, podcasts, webinars and white papers. SUBSCRIBE

4 comments (Comments are now closed)

Medical community lacks knowledge in health beyond

The medical community has repeatedly turned down learning what creates a health beyond pharmaceuticals and treatment after the fact.

Additionally, as a body, the AMA does not press for mandatory labeling and the right to know if our foods are grown with GMO's, relying instead of treatment after the fact.

Having been accidentally poisoned with pesticides and volatile organic compounds, I know from experience that physicians knowledge has major gaps with diagnosis and treatment.

Additionally, how livestock and other animals are kept, the overcrowding conditions, the ways seeds are created (i.e. evolved or through recombinant DNA of other species), creates conditions to adversely affect the health of the animals and humans, since humans are also animals.

Report abuse

Posted by Becca
14 July 2013 | 19h19

Isolated and hydrolyzed red meat protein

Request information about publications of references techniques / about scientific application in nutrition, sports supplements, high-performance and functional food products based on Protein Isolated Red meat and Hydrolyzed.

Report abuse

Posted by Clovis Luchese
12 July 2013 | 17h29

Well...

It's a start...
The real goal, is to have all genetically altered substances made fully illegal, worldwide...
There is no middle ground. Gmo's are toxic to life... All life...

Report abuse

Posted by QuietBear
03 July 2013 | 10h35

Read all comments (4)

Related products

Related suppliers

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Events from partners...