In this Sept. 12, 2017, photo, a Simmons Farms farm is pictured in the town of St. Joseph, Ind.
Simmons farms and other GMO-containing produce are being phased out in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
The USDA has now certified the Simmons-based farm in each state.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) The Next Green blog: The USDA’s new rule, which mandates GMO-Free certification for all genetically engineered (GE) foods, is “unprecedented,” the Organic Consumers Association said in a letter to USDA Secretary David Bernhardt.
“This new rule is a major step forward for food safety and a major win for the American people,” the group said.
“The USDA has shown that they have a responsibility to safeguard the public from genetically engineered foods and that they are acting with a great deal of compassion.”
Simmons and other GE-containing products are not only more expensive for consumers, they’re also more harmful to the environment.
“It’s important to recognize that there are no silver bullets for how to avoid the harms associated with GE crops,” the letter said.
The new rule also includes exemptions from requirements for food labeling and labelling for GE foods, and requires the USDA to create new guidelines to implement the new rules.
“As a public health official, I have a duty to protect the public, and the food and agriculture industry, from harmful effects of GE foods,” Bernhardt said in his letter.
The Food and Drug Administration has not yet finalized its new guidance.
Bernhardt and other USDA officials said they want the rule finalized as soon as possible.
“We are pleased to see that the FDA has made the right decision and that the rule will take effect immediately,” said a USDA official who asked not to be identified.
“There is no good reason why this rule would not be effective as a safeguard for the public.”