What You Need to Know About Testing Requirements
The following are nine essential points regarding the NGP testing requirements for food products.
1. GMO testing is usually conducted on individual ingredients. The NGP verification program considers each ingredient separately; therefore testing is usually required to be conducted on individual ingredients, rather than on multi-ingredient finished products.
2. Any required testing for food products must be conducted using DNA-based PCR method. The real-time PCR test method is the industry standard used to validate claims, verify contracts, and ensure regulatory compliance.
3. To be deemed compliant with the Standard, the GMO content of an ingredient must be no more than the applicable Action Threshold defined by the Standard. The Standard defines specific Action Thresholds for seed, human food, animal feed, and other products.
4. Ingredients derived from crops on the NGP’s high-risk list are usually required to be tested. These crops (as of May 2017) are alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, soybean, sugar beet, yellow summer squash, and zucchini.
5. The testing plan must cover the GMO risks in the crop. For example, for GMO testing of an ingredient derived from corn, the testing plan must cover all commercialized GM corn varieties, as specified by the NGP.
6. Testing must be done by an NGP approved lab that is accredited to ISO 17025. ISO 17025 accreditation is the industry’s standard for laboratory excellence. The Non-GMO Project Standard requires that the laboratory must be accredited for each specific test used.
7. Your specific sampling and testing plans must be approved by your NGP technical administrator, and must be designed to achieve 90% confidence in quantification of GMO at or below the applicable Action Threshold set by the Standard.
8. For verification of highly processed ingredients, it may be necessary to test a precursor. For example, rather than testing refined canola oil, testing may be conducted at an earlier stage of production (e.g., at the crude oil stage, or on the seed).
9. For the verification of animal-derived products, testing is conducted on the animal feed, rather than on finished products such as meat, milk, eggs and cheese.
Do your ingredients require testing for Non-GMO Project Verification? To answer this question, first enroll in the NGP Verification Program, partnering with an approved technical administrator (such as Food Chain ID) who will guide you through the process. Also, an experienced GMO testing laboratory may be able to give testing advice. Click here for how to Choose the Right GMO Testing Lab — 7 Key Points.