The Standard

About the Standard

The Non-GMO Project Standard is a consensus-based document. It has been crafted with the insight and expertise of stakeholders reflecting a diverse range of perspectives. Beginning with a 60-day public comment period in October and November of 2007, ongoing public comment periods have been established as an important mechanism for keeping the standard rigorous, current and collaborative. The most recent public comment period ended November 20th, 2016.

Version 14.2 of the Non-GMO Project Standard was published on September 22, 2017.

Click here to download a current copy of the Non-GMO Project Standard (v14.2) [PDF]

Critical Updates to the Non-GMO Project Standard – Effective September 22, 2017:

On August 2nd, the Non-GMO Project advised participants that we were contemplating material changes to compliance pathways for livestock feed (which were introduced in v14 and maintained in v14.1), based on the use of compliant or verified seed. We have determined that such changes warrant an urgent Standard revision.  Per the Non-GMO Project’s Terms of Reference, revisions to the Standard may be undertaken if deemed necessary by the Non-GMO Project’s Board of Directors. 

Thus, the Non-GMO Project Standard has been updated to Version 14.2, effective September 22nd, 2017. Please note that there is a summary of changes appended to Version 14.2.

Revisions to the updated Standard include, but are not limited to:

  • Sections VII.A.2.a.ii and VII.A.2.b: Certain livestock feed compliance pathways based on use of compliant or verified seed have been eliminated.* High moisture crops, and feed grown on-farm from farmer-saved seed or seed purchased from a neighboring farmer may still demonstrate compliance through seed-level testing.
  • Section II.B.3.a: Processing aids that are out of the scope of review have been clarified.
  • Section II.A.1: Product categories that are eligible for verification have been clarified.

*Please note that these changes will not impact Participants and non-GMO supply chain members utilizing this pathway for the 2017 growing and harvest season.

Please contact your Technical Administrator if you have any questions. We encourage you to read through the new Standard and if you would like to submit any comments about the changes made in v14.2, please use this form.

We thank you for your support of the Non-GMO Project and we look forward to continued collaboration to build a safe and healthy non-GMO food supply for future generations.


Terms of Reference

The Non-GMO Project’s Terms of Reference outlines the operating structure of our organization, the relationship we have with technical administrators, and the process for revisions to the Standard.

Download the Terms of Reference (PDF)


Key principles
  • The goal of the Standard is to assist farmers, processors and manufacturers in avoiding GMO contamination by providing consistency of definitions and methodology for investigating source materials, testing high-risk ingredients, and building identity preservation practices into the supply chain.
  • The Standard seeks to balance meaningful change in the supply chain with achievable results for industry.
  • High-risk crops and ingredients derived from those crops are identified in the Standard, as well as a list of monitored GMOs that have not yet reached the marketplace.
  • Analytical testing of high-risk raw material is done at critical points in the supply chain to verify that GMO contamination is below the applicable action threshold:
    • Seed and other propagation materials: 0.25%
    • Human food and products ingested or used directly on skin: 0.9%
    • Cleaning products, textiles, and products not ingested or used directly on skin: 1.5%
    • Animal feed and supplements: 5%
  • Incidents where the action threshold is exceeded unknowingly or unintentionally will result in corrective actions to identify the cause of contamination and eliminate it. Failure to resolve corrective actions may lead to loss of verification.
  • The Standard requires continuous improvements until the long-term action thresholds and overarching goals of the Project are achieved on a consistent basis.

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