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New GMOs

Tracking their rapid rise and entrance into the supply chain

Over the last few years, the growth of the biotechnology industry has rapidly accelerated due in large part to an explosion in start-up companies and venture capital funding. Today, genetic engineering is no longer about a few agrochemical giants manipulating a handful of commodity crops. It’s also about engineering animals, gene-edited crops and novel ingredients brewed in vats in warehouses.

These new GMOs are largely unregulated and unlabeled, and they’re flying under the radar of the natural products industry. What’s more, many new GMOs are being marketed and sold to brands as “non-GMO.”

The Non-GMO Project is committed to keeping you informed so that you can operate with confidence in this new and quickly evolving landscape. Below, we offer resources to help you keep your goods non-GMO — so that you can deliver the natural products your consumers want.

Plants Love the Butterfly

Plant-Based Eaters Are Increasingly Choosing Non-GMO

Lady holding a tasty vegan burger at workplace

Biotech has conscious consumers all wrong. With more and more new GMOs entering the marketplace, shoppers’ preference for plant-based and Non-GMO Project Verified is only growing. Research says there is little demand for new GMOs. Of all the plant-based foods, over half of the sales represent products carrying the Butterfly label. Now that’s some love!

Learn more about Plant-Based

What can you do?

1. Sign up for New GMO Alerts

Every month, this newsletter alerts you to new GMOs entering the marketplace, including the companies developing them and the products they’re used in. Check “GMO News and Updates.”

2. Ask the right questions when sourcing ingredients

If you’re a brand or a retailer, ask the right questions of your ingredient suppliers to ensure you’re sourcing non-GMO. What's the easiest way to avoid GMOs? Look for Non-GMO Project Verified products and ingredients!

From where do you source your inputs or ingredients?
Who are your suppliers?
Are you aware of our policy/goal to avoid GMOs?
How does this align with your goals?
Do you have a GMO avoidance policy?
Not all definitions of GMO are the same. Which definition of GMO are your suppliers using? Are you aligned with this goal?
Are you aware that this goal also extends to ingredients produced through fermentation of genetically modified microbes?
Do you know how your ingredients are manufactured?
Do you know where GMOs may be used in the manufacturing of your ingredients?
Do you know if GMOs may be used in the animal feed or the microorganism growth medium?

3. Keep an eye out for these words

Sometimes, these words describe techniques, processes and products of biotechnology. When sourcing, look for these descriptors; they may indicate the presence or use of new GMOs.

Biotechnology/product of biotechnology
Synbio/synthetic biology
Engineered yeast
Animal-free dairy proteins
Not regulated by the US government, so not GMO
Made with yeast, just like beer
Not transgenic, so not GMO
Breast milk proteins
Determined to be non-GMO by USDA
Self-made non-GMO claims

4. Download & share this GMO timeline

The GMOs in this timeline are the tip of the iceberg. Still, the downloadable infographic highlights how new GMO development is accelerating and broadening in applications and traits. Please share this resource with your customers and colleagues!

Non-GMO Infographic Timeline download
Download Timeline

5. Synbio seminars

Join us for our rolling series on synthetic biology. Our seminars feature research, ideas, insights and opportunities related to new GMOs and their rapid rise into the supply chain. Join brands, retailers, distributors and industry thought leaders as we take a deep dive into the product categories impacted most by the entrance of new GMOs into our food system.

Plants Love the Butterfly

September 28, 2023
Coming soon!
Learn more

The Whole Truth About Dairy

June 7, 2023
Learn more

Coming Clean

February 15, 2023
Learn more

Who's Driving the Future of Plant-Based Foods?

September 14, 2022
Learn more

How Do You Milk a Microbe?

June 16, 2022
Learn more

New GMOs 101

October 19, 2021
Learn more

6. Support our work

Be a disruptor! Our New GMOs educational series is brought to you in part by the Butterfly Alliance, a group of generous philanthropic individuals and corporations who help fund research, education and product verification at the Non-GMO Project. If you would like to learn more about the Butterfly Alliance, or if your organization is interested in underwriting this work, please contact us at Your support helps us bring essential information to the natural products industry, collegial organizations and consumers.

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