The Non-GMO Project

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Non-GMO Project
Non-profit organization
Industry Product certification
Founded 2007
Headquarters Bellingham, Washington, United States
Key people
Megan Westgate, Executive Director
Number of employees
20 (2016)
Website www.nongmoproject.org

The Non-GMO Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focusing on genetically modified organisms. The organization began as an initiative of independent natural foods retailers in the U.S. and Canada,[1] with the stated aim to label products produced in compliance with their Non-GMO Project Standard,[2] which aims to prevent genetically modified foodstuffs from being present in retail food products. The organization is headquartered in Bellingham, Washington. The Non-GMO label began use in 2012 with Numi Organic Tea products.[3][4]

History[edit]

In 2007, two natural food retailers formed the project, with a goal of creating a standardized definition for non-genetically modified organisms.[5][6] The project worked with FoodChain Global Advisors which provided the scientific and technical expertise. In spring 2007, the project's board of directors[7] was expanded to include representatives from additional groups, and formed advisory boards for technical and policy issues.[8]

Mission[edit]

The Non-GMO Project's stated mission is "to preserve and build sources of non-GMO products, educate consumers, and provide verified non-GMO choices". It provides third-party verification and labeling for non-genetically modified food and products. The project also works with food manufacturers, distributors, growers, and seed suppliers to develop standards for detection of genetically modified organisms and for the reduction of contamination risk of the non-genetically modified food supply with genetically modified organisms. FoodChain Global Advisors, a part of Global ID Group, provides the technical capabilities.[9][10]

Part of its mission is to "educate consumers and the food industry to help build awareness about GMOs and their impact on our health".[11] It claims that everyone deserves an informed choice about whether or not to consume genetically modified organisms.[11][12] Their primary strategy for providing consumers an informed choice and protecting a non-genetically modified food supply is to leverage the power of the marketplace.[13]

Standard and label[edit]

The Non-GMO Project maintains a consensus-based standard,[14] which outlines their system for ensuring best practices for avoiding genetically modified organisms. Methods such as segregation, traceability, risk assessment, sampling techniques, and quality control management are emphasized in the Standard.

The project's Product Verification Program assesses ingredients, products, and manufacturing facilities to establish compliance with the standard. All ingredients with major risk must be tested for compliance with the Non-GMO Project Standard prior to their use in a Non-GMO Project Verified Product.[15] The process is managed through a web-based application and evaluation program developed for the project.[16] The project's label indicates compliance with the standards.[17][18]

Sales[edit]

According to the Non-GMO Project, as of September 2013, Project Verified products exceeded $3.5 billion. This would be approximately 0.4% of the total food sales in the United States ($1.3 trillion in 2012).[19] The Non-GMO Project reports 797 verification program enrollment inquiries in the second quarter of 2013 compared to 194 inquiries during the same period in 2012, representing more than a 300% increase.[20]

Controversy[edit]

The Non-GMO Project has been known to put its labels on products that are either well known to have no genetically modified variant available, such as tomatoes, oranges, blueberries, and coffee, or on foods where genetic modification isn't even relevant, such as water, and may be using a business model that is based on fear and lack of information.[21] At least one company has admitted that they have only paid to have this logo on their products for marketing reasons even if it was misleading and confused customers, and further acknowledged that it is putting science aside while doing so.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Board of Directors The Non-GMO Project
  2. ^ "The Standard – The Non-GMO Project". Nongmoproject.org. Retrieved 2017-06-12. 
  3. ^ https://www.nongmoproject.org/blog/numi-organic-tea-brews-pure-tea-precedent-with-non-gmo-verification/
  4. ^ Van Eenennaam, A.L., and A.E. Young. 2014. Prevalence and impacts of genetically engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations. J Anim. Sci. 92:4255-4278.
  5. ^ "Natural" food retailers to set non-biotech standard, Food Chemical News
  6. ^ "History – The Non-GMO Project". Nongmoproject.org. Retrieved 2017-06-12. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ The Non-GMO Project History
  9. ^ The Organic & Non-GMO Report. April 2007 The Organic and Non-GMO Report:The Non-GMO Project rises to forefront of natural food industry
  10. ^ William Neuman for the Taipei Times. 30 Aug 2009 The Non-GMO Project aims to back up food makers' claims that their products are largely free of biotech ingredients
  11. ^ a b "Non-GMO Project: About". Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Q+A with Megan Westgate". Daily Camera. 
  13. ^ "Seeking Food Ingredients That Aren't Gene-Altered". New York Times. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "The Standard – The Non-GMO Project". Nongmoproject.org. Retrieved 2017-06-12. 
  15. ^ Westgate, Megan. "Top 3 Things to Know About the Non-GMO Project". Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Global ID was engaged by the Non-GMO Project to design and administer a non-GMO verification program." Golden Triangle Newspapers [2] Archived June 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ http://www.nongmoproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/Revised-Seal-copy.jpg
  18. ^ Non-GMO Project: Understanding Our Seal.[3],
  19. ^ "Food Expenditures". 
  20. ^ [4][dead link]
  21. ^ [5]
  22. ^ https://geneticliteracyproject.org/glp-facts/non-gmo-project-labeling-group-wants-shrink-market-gmo-foods-limit-biotech-movement/

External links[edit]