FAQs – Product Verification
Non-GMO Project Verified is the fastest growing label in the natural products industry, representing $16 billion in annual sales and nearly 35,000 verified products. With consumers today, the Non-GMO Project seal is the most trusted sign that a product comes from best practices for GMO avoidance.
How much will it cost to get Non-GMO Project Verified?
The cost varies depending on how many products you are verifying and whether those products contain any high GMO risk ingredients such as corn or soy, which require greater scrutiny. Our Product Verification Program is overseen by third-party technical administrators, currently FoodChain ID, NSF International, Where Food Comes From, and SCS Global Services. Their cost models are based on a variety of factors, and they can provide you with a customized cost estimate. We work with companies of all sizes and are committed to making our Verification Program as financially accessible as possible.
How long will it take to get verified?
On average, the process takes 3 to 6 months depending on the attributes of your product and how quickly you can submit the required documentation for your product evaluation.
When and where can I use the Non-GMO Project Verified seal?
We will send you the art files for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal as soon as 1) Your product completes the verification process, AND 2) You have signed our Licensing Agreement, which outlines proper use of our name, logo and verification mark. The Non-GMO Project Verified label is trademarked in the United States and Canada and can be used within those markets only.
What if my product contains animal products such as meat, eggs, dairy, or honey?
If the feed for the animal product contains high GMO risk ingredients such as corn or soy, testing is required to show that those ingredients meet our Standard. The feed does not need to be Non-GMO Project Verified, as long as it meets our testing requirements (though if it is verified, that certainly speeds up the verification process).
If you are a producer of animal products, please download this one-page outline of the Non-GMO Project requirements.
Honey and bee products are considered high GMO risk and will require documentation to ensure the bees are not foraging on high-risk crops.
Does becoming Non-GMO Project Verified require testing of every finished product?
Testing finished product is not a reliably accurate measure of GMO presence. Therefore, the Non-GMO Project Standard requires testing of individual ingredients, not products. Ongoing testing is required for all major GMO risk ingredients (a list of risk ingredients can be found in Appendix B of the Non-GMO Project Standard). Our program is designed to employ testing as a best practice at the most efficient point in the production chain. Typically, this is where ingredients are least processed and consolidated in the largest amounts, for example, during initial processing. From there, traceability and segregation ensure that the tested ingredient maintains its purity.
Where can I find a list of already verified ingredients?
You can search for already verified products and ingredients on our product search page. You can browse by product category, brand name, or search by product name. To find Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients such as honey or corn starch, use the product name search function and identify the desired ingredient by its name, e.g., ‘honey’ or ‘corn starch’. Or use the product category search function and choose ‘wholesale ingredients’, the last category on the page.
Why should I have my products Non-GMO Project Verified if my products are already USDA Certified Organic?
Organic certification is one of the best steps you can take towards ensuring that your product is the healthiest food possible. Learn more about all of the benefits of Certified Organic here. According to the Organic Trade Association, “The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t use any GMO ingredients. To meet the USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs, and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.” The rigorous requirements of the National Organic Program help to prevent GMO contamination of organic foods through a process-based approach, which includes testing when GMO contamination is suspected.
The Non-GMO Project is designed to honor the NOP’s excellent guidelines for traceability and segregation and build off of the work that certified organic companies are already doing, with the added measure of ongoing testing of risk ingredients at critical control points. The Non-GMO Project also verifies conventional foods because we want to take all necessary steps to help protect and build our non-GMO food supply for future generations. We also believe that all consumers, whether they purchase organic or conventional foods, deserve transparency and have a right to choose whether they want to consume GMOs.
My company already has a non-GMO program, so why should we participate in the Non-GMO Project?
There are two important reasons. First of all, Non-GMO Project Verification offers transparency to your customers about your GMO avoidance practices. By becoming a Participant, you gain the outreach and education support of our nonprofit and the thousands of retailers who support and endorse the Project. Retailers and consumers are looking for the assurance of independent, third-party validation of product claims – and when it comes to GMOs, the Non-GMO Project seal gives consumers the most trusted alternatives to GMO food and products available today.
The second reason is that maintaining a supply of non-GMO ingredients in the face of growing contamination risk takes coordinated, cooperative efforts. The Non-GMO Project’s uniform, industry-wide Standard and Product Verification Program create essential efficiency for an industry where sharing of co-packers and ingredient suppliers is common. By engaging a critical mass of companies, from seed growers to manufacturers, we achieve the economy of scale that makes long-term non-GMO sourcing possible.
Have another question that you don’t see here? Please contact us.