For downloadable non-GMO resources, please visit Living Non-GMO.
Why should I get my product Non-GMO Project Verified?
Non-GMO Project Verified is the fastest growing label in the natural products industry, representing over $26 billion in annual sales and more than 50,000 Verified products for over 3,000 brands. Non-GMO products are in demand and the Non-GMO Project Verified seal is the most trusted non-GMO label among consumers.
The Non-GMO Project Verified seal gives shoppers the assurance that a product has completed a comprehensive third-party verification for compliance with the Non-GMO Project Standard. When it comes to food labeling, third-party certifications are best because they ensure the claim is unbiased, rigorous, and transparent.
What support does the Non-GMO Project provide once my product is Verified?
Brands that have achieved Verified status on their products benefit from the overall promotional efforts of the Project. In addition, the Non-GMO Project Marketing and Communications team is available to review your marketing materials, assist in the development of your non-GMO messaging, and further leverage your verification. Additional marketing programming and sponsorship opportunities are available to showcase your non-GMO commitment throughout the year.
How much will it cost to get Non-GMO Project Verified?
The cost varies depending on how many products you wish to submit for verification and whether those products contain any high-risk ingredients such as corn or soy, which require greater scrutiny. Our verification program is conducted by third-party Technical Administrators: FoodChain ID Technical Services, NSF International, Where Food Comes From (IMI Global), and SCS Global Services. Each Technical Administrator (TA) sets their own price for verification services, so we encourage you to explore each TA’s outline of fees on our Technical Administrators page. The Non-GMO Product Verification Fee is $70 per product and will be included in the Technical Administrator’s billing.
Where is my product verification fee going?
The Non-GMO Project is unique among nonprofits in that it does not rely on grants or benefactors. The fees for the Product Verification Program are the primary source of revenue for the Non-GMO Project, which is how the organization maintains its independent and non-profit status. Your fee supports Education and Outreach activities for brands, retailers, and consumers. The Non-GMO Project works with more than 14,000 retailers and millions of consumers to provide education about GMOs and to drive awareness of the importance of Non-GMO Project Verified products.
The Project is also the leader in advocacy for GMO transparency, conducting ongoing research and technical oversight of the changing GMO landscape.
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 seal is trademarked in the United States and Canada and can only be used on products sold within those markets.
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 an outline of the Non-GMO Project’s requirements.
Honey: If your product contains honey, we require documentation showing that the 4-mile radius surrounding the beehives is free from all high-risk commercial agriculture and that any supplemental feed is compliant with our standard.
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 or precursors, not finished products. Ongoing testing is required for all major high GMO risk crop ingredients (a list of high-risk ingredients can be found in Appendix B of the Non-GMO Project Standard). Our program is designed to employ testing at the most efficient and meaningful point in the production chain as a best practice. Typically, this is where ingredients are least processed (with intact DNA) 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 Non-GMO Project 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”.
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 the benefits of USDA Organic here.
According to the Organic Trade Association, “The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited in organic products. […] 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 on the work that certified organic companies are already doing, with the added measure of ongoing testing of risk ingredients at critical control points.
My company already has a non-GMO program, so why should we participate in the Non-GMO Project?
There are two important reasons. First, Non-GMO Project Verification offers transparency to your customers about your GMO avoidance practices. By seeking verification, 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 Verified seal gives consumers the most trusted alternatives to GMO food and products available today.
The second reason for participating in the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program 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.
Are products bearing the Non-GMO Project Verified seal “GMO Free”?
Unfortunately, “GMO Free” and similar claims are not legally or scientifically defensible due to limitations of testing methodology and the complexity of supply chains. In addition, the risk of contamination to seeds, crops, ingredients and products is too high to reliably claim that a product is “GMO Free.” The Project’s claim (i.e., Non-GMO Project Verified) offers a true statement acknowledging the reality of contamination risk and the realities of the current food system, but assuring the shopper that the product in question is in compliance with the Project’s rigorous Standard. While the Non-GMO Project Verified seal is not a “GMO free” claim, it is trustworthy, defensible, transparent, and North America’s only third party verification for products made according to best practices for GMO avoidance.
What do I need to know about the federal GMO food labeling law?
The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) has a mandatory compliance date of January 1, 2022. At that time, many products containing “bioengineered substances” will require a disclosure when sold in the United States.
The stringent requirements of the Non-GMO Project Standard exceed the NBFDS requirements for avoiding a “bioengineered” disclosure. In addition, the Non-GMO Project has worked closely with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) in taking several measures that aim to align the Non-GMO Project Standard with the federal rule, with the intention that Non-GMO Project Verified products not be subject to disclosure.
In its commentary on the final rule, the AMS states that the “USDA has tried to minimize the impact the NBFDS will have on…voluntary absence claims.”
Have another question that you don’t see here? Please contact us.
- "Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center Report on GMOs in Corn and Soy." Consumer Reports (n.d.): n. pag. Oct. 2014. Web.
- "Non-GMO Trumps Organic in 2014 Market LOHAS MamboTrack Survey." PRNewswire. PRNewswire, 5 Mar. 2014. Web.
- Langer, Gary. "Poll: Skepticism of Genetically Modified Foods." ABC News. ABC News Network, 09 June 2015. Web.
- "2015 Consumer Poll." 2015 Consumer Poll / GMO Inquiry 2015 / Take Action. Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 29 Sept. 2015. Web.