Product Certification Under the Non-GMO Project
This year Silva International Inc. began the process of certifying several products under the Non-GMO Project. The Non-GMO Project is North America’s only independent verification body that uses third-party inspectors to verify the products produced are according to strict best practices for GMO avoidance.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. In the U.S. GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food. According to the Non-GMO Project website more Americans want non-GMO foods and supplements. Polls consistently show that a significant majority of North Americans would like to be able to tell if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs. In 2012 a Mellman Group poll found that 91% of American consumers wanted GMOs labeled. According to a recent CBS/New York Times poll, 53% of consumers said they would not buy food that has been genetically modified. The Non-GMO Project’s seal for verified products will, for the first time, give the public an opportunity to make an informed choice when it comes to GMOs.
There are several third party inspector companies out there; Silva is partnering with FoodChain ID. Since 2007 FoodChain ID has verified more than 26,000 products including ingredients sourced from over 100 countries. FoodChain ID was the first technical administrator for the Non-GMO Project and played a leading role in the development of the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program, and oversees the verification process issuing evaluation decisions regarding a product’s compliance with the Non-GMO Project Standard.
Silva’s initial ingredient selection was based on the demand from our customers. Each ingredient required multiple items including specifications, ingredient declarations, and labeling to be uploaded to the portal just to begin the review and verification process with FoodChain ID. If there should be risk that handling practices are suspect, or any of the products could potentially have any GMOs as identified by FoodChain ID, product testing at an approved laboratory will be required prior to certification. The entire process is estimated to take four to six months to complete per product.
There is already a group of products that are completed and now certified. For these ingredients, Silva will be able to display the Non-GMO Project Verified label on those product labels, so our customers will be able to tell right away that there is an additional certification level concerning the non-GMOs status of that ingredient. The start of this listing can be seen on the Non-GMO Project website.
Additional products are being considered following our initial round of certification. Please contact your account representative for details regarding this program, Silva ingredients for certification, and your specific product interests regarding this emerging trend within industry!