The Non-GMO Project Standard


The Next Regular Standard Revision Will Begin in 2023

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Non-GMO Project Standard was on a biennial revision cycle, with Standard Revisions beginning no later than April of even years. Given the protracted global disruption caused by Covid and its ongoing impacts on our stakeholders, we will be deferring the regular Standard Revision to 2023.

The 2023 Standard Revision will open the current version of the Non-GMO Project Standard for public comment and will result in Version17. In the meantime, anyone is welcome to submit comments using our public comment form. If you wish to submit comments, please first review the current Standard, as we find it especially valuable to receive comments about specific topics and sections. All public comments received between regular Standard Revisions are considered during the next scheduled Standard Revision.

Ratification of New Standard

Version 16 of the Non-GMO Project Standard 

The Non-GMO Project Standard Version 16 (v16) was published on December 30, 2020. The differences between v15 and v16 are detailed in the Summary of Changes which can be found at the end of v16.

Additions to v16 include:

  • Section 2.1.2.f.i, 100% salt goods for human and pet food as a Non-Risk Category and therefore ineligible for Verification
  • Section 2.1.2.g, goods making BE disclosures under the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard are ineligible forVerification
  • Section 8.6.3, in some situations alfalfa hay may demonstrate compliance through Verified-Status seed
  • Section 9.3.3.a, in some situations Affidavits for Microorganisms may be resubmitted every 3 years as opposed to annually at renewal
  • Appendix C.1.1, all Monitored-Risk Crops were combined into a single table and new crops were added to the list

During the 2020 Standard Revision a number of Standard sections were slated for review. We queried stakeholders on their continued relevance through the first and second public comment periods and as a result of stakeholder feedback and careful consideration by the Standards Committee, there were no changes to the following:

  • Section 5.2, temporary exemption from onsite inspections for some contract processors remains
  • Section 6.3.6, an alternate testing pathway limited to a small number of Product categories remains
  • Section 8.3.1.d, Ration reporting and compliance requirements remain
  • Section 9.4, temporary exemption from evaluation of Growth Media to probiotic Microorganisms remains
  • Section 9.6, temporary exemption from evaluation of Growth Media to Enzymes in vitamin and supplement products remains
  • The Standard
    The Non-GMO Project Standard v16

    Version 16 of the Non-GMO Project Standard was published December 30, 2020.

    By downloading a copy of the Standard, you understand and agree that you are permitted to download the Standard solely for your personal use (i.e., to review the Standard) and that you do not have any other rights in or to the Standard, including without limitation, any right to further reproduce or display, post, or distribute, or otherwise use the Standard for any reason.

    Why do we need a Standard?

    To fulfill our mission, the Non-GMO Project operates under the following theories of change:

    1. Ensuring access to non-GMO choices necessitates the conversion of North American acreage to non-GMO agriculture at sufficient scale.

    2. Efficient supply chain transformation requires consistent, uniform standards.

    3. Standards must be both meaningful and achievable; meaningfulness includes valid testing and adherence to international protocols for credible standard setting.

    4. Change of the magnitude proposed in the Non-GMO Project’s mission and vision depends on diplomatic, pragmatic and strategic cooperation with a diverse spectrum of stakeholders.

    The Standard is maintained by a Standards Committee with oversight by the Board Standards Oversight Committee (see Terms of Reference).

  • Stakeholder Involvement

    The Non-GMO Project Standard is a consensus-based document crafted with the insight of industry experts, consumers, producers, and scientists.

    Anyone is welcome to submit comments at any time using our public comment form. If you wish to submit comments, please first review the current Standard. We find it especially valuable to receive comments about specific topics and sections of the Standard.

    The Non-GMO Project’s mission depends on cooperation with a diverse spectrum of stakeholders. The Non-GMO Project Standard is intended to be a “living” document, capable of flexibly incorporating feedback from all stakeholders in such a way that it always maintains a viable balance of meaningfulness and achievability. 

    Stakeholder Categories

    The Project categorizes stakeholder interests into the following eight areas:

    1. Retailers and Distributors
    2. Input and Ingredient Processors
    3. Consumer Packaged Goods Manufacturers
    4. Livestock producers
    5. Crop producers
    6. Seed producers
    7. Research and Policy
    8. Consumer

    Comments submitted through the comment form are reviewed in an ongoing manner and incorporated into scheduled Standard Revisions. During a Standard Revision, the Standards Committee (see Terms of Reference) will evaluate all comments received during the public comment periods and propose corresponding changes to the Standard. After the first public comment period, a redline of the Standard with proposed changes is posted on the website. After the second comment period and comment evaluation process, the Standards Committee strives for consensus on a proposed new Standard version. Ratification of the new proposed Standard version is voted on by the Board of Directors.

  • Terms of Reference and Standard Oversight

    Non-GMO Project Terms of Reference

    The Non-GMO Project’s Terms of Reference outlines the mission of our organization, the process for revisions to the Standard, and the way we engage with our governing board of directors, technical administrators, and program participants.

    Consistent standards that are both meaningful and achievable can transform supply chains. We have created the most trusted Standard for GMO avoidance through ongoing public comment periods that keep the Standard rigorous, current, and collaborative. The Standard is maintained by the Standards Committee and Board Standards Oversight Committee.

    The Non-GMO Project believes in the importance of transparency and public input, as our mission depends on cooperation and engagement with a diverse spectrum of stakeholders. The Project accepts comments from stakeholders at any time through its website, and these are reviewed in an ongoing manner. Additionally, the Standard in its entirety is subject to a regular revision process, consisting of two public comment periods and multiple rounds of evaluation by the Standards Committee prior to ratification of a new Standard version by the Board of Directors.

    Please review the Terms of Reference for more detailed information or refer to the Stakeholder Involvement section above for information on how to participate.