Non-GMO Project Standard, Version 13 Updates

Enrollees: New Changes to the Non-GMO Project Standard

blog-standardVersion 13 of the Standard includes clarifications of language (which do not actually change its requirements but rather make compliance details easier to understand) and several key changes which may affect your evaluation and verification processes.

Please review the updated Standard as well as the Non-GMO Project’s (NGP) detailed summary of the new changes below:

Synopsis of changes that may affect you:

Updates to the requirements for animal feed are as follows:

  • Only major % feed inputs will be within scope of the evaluation going forward. Full feed formulation information will still be collected, but compliance requirements will only be applied to those feed inputs which constitute 5% or more of the overall dietary ration, as it goes on to make up the finished product where applicable (minus any added water/salt).
  • Lifecycle onboarding requirements now only allow for dairy animals and laying hens to be fed compliant feed regimens 30 days prior to verification, and continuously after.
  • The Action Threshold applicable to animal feed inputs wherein testing is required has been raised from 1.5% to 5% to more closely match import/export guidelines on feed. Note: The updates to requirements for animal feed are less rigorous than previously defined, and thus can support new enrollments or compliance demonstration where that was previously not feasible. Please contact your Technical Evaluator or our Enrollment team in order to pursue new enrollments and/or the advancement of current items under review where you think these updates may affect your review. We will also be personally reaching out to affected Participants via email with additional guidance in this matter.
  • Preventative measures are now required to be demonstrated for the compliance of low GMO-risk products, which means you will need to answer a set of questions presented in a brief facility survey that you’ll find in your SupplyTrak record. This will establish whether or not production processes at your facilities are in compliance (meaning products not containing high GMO-risk major or defining ingredients). Though no onsite audit is required for the facilities, a document-based evaluation of onsite processes will determine if a prevention of commingling is present. Recently submitted facilities will see the survey going forward and already approved facilities will see those surveys appear over the coming months.
  • Restaurants now have opportunities to verify their menu items without having to undergo onsite inspection in situations where inspection would be otherwise required (i.e., due to the handling of at least one high GMO-risk major/defining ingredient on site). This will be subject to the inspection exclusion eligibility as per the exemption options available in the Standard.
  • Spot purchases of unverified inputs must be justified to the technical administrator (i.e., FoodChain ID) to support the choice of selecting a non-verified input. Spot purchase of an unverified input is allowed if the requirements as mentioned in the Section VII A. 3 of the Standard are met.
  • A new Appendix E has been added which includes the section, “Changes with Extended Compliance Deadlines.” This includes the Synthetic Biology update added in Version 12 which requires that no product of Synthetic Biology can be used in verified production, even as a micro % ingredient. The compliance deadline for this requirement has been extended to June 15, 2016 for all participants.

Additional changes to the Standard are noted in the Non-GMO Project’s synopsis and in the new Standard, Version 13 itself. If you have questions about these new changes, please contact the FoodChain ID client services support team who will be happy to assist you.