USDA tightens Process Verified oversight, disclosure
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2015 - The Agriculture Department is tightening its Process Verified Program to ensure more uniform administration across commodities and to make it easier for consumers to check marketing claims.
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is instituting a single management structure for the program and also will require that any marketing claims or verified processes be clearly defined in plain language on the USDA website.
Products that are labeled as “USDA Process Verified” will be required to carry the website address.
“The changes announced today are part of our commitment to continuous improvement, ensuring consistency and providing consumers with even more information about exactly what PVP-audited marketing claims mean,” said Craig Morris, deputy administrator of the AMS Livestock Poultry and Seed Program.
The Process Verified claims covers dozens of characteristics, such as non-GMO, “Responsible Use of Antibiotics,” “No Antibiotics Ever,” “Raised by independent farmers,” “Raised Cage-Free," hogs raised without the use of ractopamine, and cattle “born and/or born and fed in the State of Nebraska.”
AMS, which is supposed to ensure that the companies are adhering to the practices in their claims, said the changes would “increase transparency and accountability by making it easier for consumers to understand the meaning of PVP-approved marketing claims.”