Genetically modified (GM) foods have raised concern amongst consumers regarding the impact on the environment as well as human and animal health. As a result, many countries require mandatory labelling of foods containing GM ingredients (inputs) where the percentage exceeds a certain threshold. To meet consumer demands for transparency and support companies in sourcing non-GMO materials, FoodChain ID Certification launched its Non-GMO Certification Program and Non-GMO Trademark (product seal) in 1999 to easily identify non-GMO products in the marketplace. This standard was previously known as the “Cert ID Non-GMO Certification.”
The FoodChain ID Non-GMO Global Standard is recognized within the industry as the benchmark for a non-GMO production system as it applies a quality management system approach to identity preservation. The Standard utilizes risk-based decision-making to build a strong certification program tailored to an organization’s needs. Key components of the program include risk assessments, traceability, and sampling/testing to verify compliance; the program is assessed annually against Standard requirements by FoodChain ID Certification. The Standard is applicable to organizations involved in the cultivation, production, processing, storage, distribution, logistics, and/or trade of non-GMO products. Product certification may be requested for raw materials, derivatives, additives, processing aids, and finished products, including livestock and animal feed.
Recent developments in the landscape of Genetic Engineering and GMOs has caused FoodChain ID to consider revisions to its Non-GMO Standard. In particular:
New Genetic Engineering Techniques
The advent of new genetic engineering techniques – most commonly collectively referred to as “gene editing” – has posed challenges to typically practiced methods of detection. At present, analytical detection of such novel genomes are not available. However, analytical test methods are evolving, and we expect that in the future such detection methods will become available.
On 25 July 2018, the European Court of Justice  ruled that genomes produced through new genetic engineering techniques are indeed GMOs and are subject to EU labeling laws for GMOs. FoodChain ID has been carefully considering the impacts of this ruling as well as the practical implications of it on the FoodChain ID Non-GMO Global Standard. As many FoodChain ID clients require verification of compliance with applicable regulations in order to access EU markets, and to avoid confusion in the marketplace globally, the FoodChain ID Non-GMO Standard will continue to remain aligned with EU regulations.
The FoodChain ID Non-GMO Global Standard has been revised to allow for alternative methods of assurance, based on a combination of surveillance of GMOs available on the market, divulgence of information on the part of supplier(s) of any potentially GMO ingredients, and risk assessment and quality management systems implemented by FoodChain ID certified operators.
There are currently very few products on the market that have been created with these new gene editing techniques. Nonetheless, as required by the revised Non-GMO Global Standard, it is expected that certified operations will address these new risks by the end of their current certification cycle through an update of their quality management systems.
Your FoodChain ID representative will assist you with the proper protocols needed to ensure your products(s) continue to meet your desired target markets and that they continue to meet specific regulations related to labeling requirements.
United States National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard
Effective 19 February, 2019, this new law went into effect in the United States of America. This law does not classify products of new gene editing techniques as “bioengineered” (an alternative wording used by this law instead of the more common “GMO” and its related terms). Furthermore, the law significantly restricts the requirement to label other foods as bioengineered, compared to prevailing market activity to date. FoodChain ID position is that it is important to avoid market confusion or inconsistency with the Non-GMO programs widely adopted and accepted such that Non-GMO certification to the EU regulations, to the Non-GMO Project and to the FoodChain ID Non-GMO Global Standard. Accordingly, given the new law, we have enhanced the definition of “GMO” in the FoodChain ID Non-GMO Global Standard to further ensure clarity and consistency with the EU regulations and standards.
We appreciate that this topic is complex and have been exercising all due prudence and deliberation to arrive at a credible and practical way forward for our clients. We remain at your service to assist with further clarifications.
Want to learn more about non-GMO certification with FoodChain ID Certification? Click here to download the Non-GMO Global Standard v6.2
- Certification in accordance with mandatory labelling requirements concerning GMOs
- Market-oriented Targeted Threshold Levels
- European Union Regulation(EC) No 1830/2003 for traceability and labelling of GMOs
- Brazilian legislation (Decree No. 4680)
- Other labelling and non-GMO programs
- Risk-based sampling and testing
- Traceability Certificates of Compliance (TCCs) to batch/lot level
- Use of the FoodChain ID Non-GMO seal for value-added recognition of your certified products
FoodChain ID Certification certifies products that comply with European Union (EU) Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003 for traceability and labelling of GMOs in food and feed. According to the regulation, products containing GMOs above 0.9% per ingredient shall be identified with a unique code and labelled for GM content. Adventitious (accidental) or technically unavoidable GM content of EU approved GMOs is allowed without labelling at a concentration no higher than 0.9%. However, a constant presence of GM content—even if below the 0.9% threshold–must be labelled. Products containing any trace amount of GMOs not approved in the EU are immediately withdrawn from the market.
Brazilian legislation (Decree No. 4680) provides for mandatory labelling of natural products, ingredients, food, and feed containing GMOs or derivatives with a GMO content equal to or above 1%. Meat, milk, and eggs from animals fed with feed containing GMO ingredients must also be labelled. Ordinance No. 2658 regulates how the labelling must be done through the use of a yellow triangle with a black T.
Sampling and testing of non-GMO inputs and products are cornerstones of non-GMO identity preservation (IP) systems to verify that threshold levels for GMO contamination are met. The FoodChain ID Non-GMO Global Standard contains requirements for risk-based sampling and testing plans of inputs and finished products to ensure those at risk for contamination are routinely analyzed.
Accurate and reliable test methods are critical for determining the GM content in products. To ensure these criteria are met, the Standard requires the use of GMO test methods established by the Global Laboratory Alliance (GLA), which are performed by a FoodChain ID approved laboratory. Analysis performed by a FoodChain ID approved laboratory ensures the testing of specific GM traits and non-approved varieties at various limits of detection for accurate testing according to the Targeted Threshold Tolerance Level. FoodChain ID approved laboratories are those who are a member of the GLA or have achieved accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and are licensed by the GLA to perform GMO methods of analysis.
11.3 Guidance: For consistency, uniformity and to reduce variation and error in the FoodChain ID ID Non-GMO Certification Program, it is essential that GMO testing procedures and the analysis of test results be conducted in a uniform, consistent, and scientifically robust manner. The testing methods selected for this purpose are those that have been internationally established by the Global Laboratory Alliance (GLA).
Laboratories that are not GLA members may either join, or license relevant methods from the GLA to satisfy the requirement of conducting PCR testing according to FoodChain ID approved methods. Such laboratories must be and maintain ISO ISO/IEC 17025:2005 (BS EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005) accreditation by their national accreditation body.
From definitions: FoodChain ID Approved Laboratory – a laboratory that is a member of the Global Laboratory Alliance (GLA) or licences and uses standardized operating procedures established by the GLA.
FoodChain ID Testing is the global leader in GMO identification and a FoodChain ID approved laboratory.
As the longest serving technical administrator for the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program, FoodChain ID has verified 75% of the market – more than 50,000 products – and served more than 2,500 clients in over 100 countries. FoodChain ID clients include North America’s most trusted brands, producers, retailers, co-packing and manufacturing companies, livestock and crop producers, small businesses, and importers and distributors of internationally traded brands.
If you’re interested in acquiring the Non-GMO Project “Butterfly Seal” FoodChain ID can help.
To learn more about what it takes to get verified, please visit this link.
You can also receive a free instant online cost estimate here
Or, you can call a FoodChain Enrollment Specialist at 866-440-3242 option 3.
The FoodChain ID Non-GMO Global Standard is recognized within the industry as the benchmark for non-GMO identity preservation. Below are just a few of the reasons why you should choose FoodChain ID for non-GMO certification:
- FoodChain ID Certification is the recognized pioneer in non-GMO certification
- FoodChain ID Certification has more than 15 years of inspection and certification experience
- Certification against the FoodChain ID Non-GMO Global Standard verifies non-GMO claims
- The FoodChain ID Non-GMO Global Standard is regularly updated and current with industry standards
- FoodChain ID Certification is the acknowledged industry leader by retailers and brands worldwide for non-GMO certification
- The FoodChain ID Non-GMO Global Standard verifies compliance to global regulatory requirements (e.g. EU threshold of less than 0.1% EU authorised adventitious and technically unavoidable GM presence requirements)
- Traceability Certificates of Compliance (TCCs) are issued to batch/lot level for added confidence of conventional providence
- Customer satisfaction, close communication and continual improvement are our top priorities
- FoodChain ID Certification Non-GMO approved auditors have completed FoodChain ID Certification’s rigorous training program
- Quick delivery of certificates, helpful and well-mannered auditors and referral to trusted industry consultants are all part of FoodChain ID Certification’s non-GMO service
- FoodChain ID Certification audits are carried out professionally by hand-picked, fully qualified, food industry experienced auditors
- FoodChain ID Certification audit reports and certificates are issued on time in order that you meet your customers’ requirements.
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