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Non-GMO certification, explained

posted on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

Non-GMO certification and product labelling can be confusing.

The leader in non-GMO certification is the Non-GMO Project. Developed by The Big Carrot in Toronto and The Natural Grocery Company in California, it has provided and continues to develop a standardized definition for non-GMO products in the North American and international food industry.

The Non-GMO Project initially partnered with the US-based company FoodChain ID for scientific and technical expertise in non-GMO testing and verification. Non-GMO testing has since expanded to a global industry for verification and certification, with a number of testing labs that comply with the requirements in the non-GMO Product Standard listed on the Non-GMO Project website. These labs perform third-party testing, detection, inspection and audit tracking.

Not all labs listed test all products, but all must adhere to the Non-GMO Project Standard requirements. These requirements, and EU regulations, are the foundation for the majority of other consultation companies that also provide third-party verification.

One company, US-based NSF International, a technical advisor to the Non-GMO Project, has created its own certification label ‘Non GMO/GE Certified by NSF’. They have recently come under criticism for certification of a sweetener produced by fermentation by genetically modified yeast. NSF has said that they exempt products produced by genetically engineered enzymes or microorganisms, if they are not present in the final product.

The Non-GMO Project continues to apply the most stringent and reliable verification for non-GMO status of products and companies.

Check out the Non-GMO Project website to find products and companies that carry the Non-GMO Project label.

submitted by Daria Love, on behalf of the Food Issues Committee