GMO Testing: An important component of your risk-mitigation strategy for BE compliance
The mandatory compliance date for the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) National Bioengineered Food Safety Standard (NBFDS) is coming up soon and it carries implications all across the food supply chain.
If you are a food manufacturer, importer or an entity that labels food for retail sale, then you are likely to fall within the scope of the NBFDS and may be required to either adjust product labeling, make sure that your product qualifies for the exemptions within the standard or prove the absence of BE through record-keeping or testing of the food or ingredient(s) to confirm the absence of the BE material.
The learning curve may be steep
An adequate interpretation of the NBFDS is a challenging task. Assessing which rules apply to a specific manufacturing process and then determining the course of action to reach compliance requires significant technical knowledge and expertise.
Among other things, the new bioengineered (BE) rule introduces specific regulatory definitions and it requires record-keeping of relevant documentation to substantiate the absence of detectable levels of modified genetic material for commonly used highly refined ingredients originating from the new “BE Food List”, such as corn oil or beet sugar. The USDA AMS published guidelines on testing, but no particular analysis was specified in the wording of the NBFDS to determine levels of BE materials in a sample.
There are different pathways to determine that modified genetic material is not detectable in the product on a consistent basis. Real-time PCR GMO Testing is one of those pathways and partnering with a laboratory that can deliver reliable and consistently accurate results is critical for compliance. FoodChain ID Testing offers a full menu of qualitative and quantitative GMO testing options and our laboratory is able to test all sample types including difficult matrices such as oils and multi-ingredients.
The AMS also published guidance on acceptable validation of a refining process, which aims at proving that modified genetic material is undetectable on a consistent basis, but it’s up to the manufacturer to conduct a proper validation process that would ensure compliance with the standard. FoodChain ID Testing offers Process Validation testing for BE Compliance, along with unparalleled technical expertise, comprehensive customer support and a history of more than 25 years of innovation and industry leadership.