Minneapolis, MN—The USDA has verified its first non-GMO claim through its Process Verified Program(PVP). Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack noted that while the PVP itself is not new, this is the first claim of its kind to be verified through it. He added that other companies have taken interest in having their claims verified through the program.

PVP being used for non-GMO verification does not mean that the USDA has set its own non-GMO standards. Instead, the program has the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) act as a third party in verifying marketing claims, according to a statement from Sam Jones-Ellard, a spokesperson for the AMS. Jones-Ellard also noted that while the USDA’s organic certification process is also done through the AMS, the two programs will remain separate, meaning that even if a company is certified organic, they will have to go through a second process to have their non-GMO claims verified.

Excerpted from WholeFoods Magazine, July 2015, (online 5/26/2015)