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What Is the Non-GMO Project Standard?

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The Non-GMO Project Standard is the backbone of North America's most rigorous certification for GMO avoidance. All Non-GMO Project Verified products are evaluated against the requirements laid out in the Standard.

Announcements: Standard version 16.1 has been published

As a result of an Urgent Standard Revision, the Standard Version 16.1 has been published. Learn more here.

The Product Verification Program

The Product Verification Program (PVP) establishes the rules and requirements that operationalize the Non-GMO Project Standard, enabling brands to enroll products for evaluation against the Standard. The PVP is governed by four program documents, all of which are available for download below, free of charge.

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

Program Rules and Procedures

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The Standard

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Trademark Use Guide

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Terms of Reference

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

Why do we need a Standard?

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

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  • Transform and scale
    Ensuring access to non-GMO choices requires converting North American acreage to non-GMO agriculture at sufficient scale.
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  • Consistent and uniform
    Efficient supply chain transformation requires consistent and uniform standards.
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  • Meaningful and achievable
    Standards must be both meaningful and achievable; meaningfulness includes valid testing and adherence to international protocols for credible standard setting.
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  • Diplomatic and strategic
    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.

How we maintain the Standard

The Standard is a consensus-based document crafted with the insight of industry experts, consumers, producers, and scientists. The Standards Committee develops and maintains the Standard. The Standards Committee is composed of representatives who reflect a balanced representation of external stakeholder interests.

The Standard undergoes general revisions biennially, beginning no later than April of even-numbered years. During general revisions, public comments on most aspects of the Standard are gathered during at least two public comment periods. A Standard redline containing proposed changes may be made public before the first public comment period but is always available for review before the second public comment period. The Standards Committee considers each comment received and ultimately generates a new Standard version. Upon reaching a consensus on all proposed changes, the Standards Committee elevates the new Standard version to the Board Standard Oversight Committee, which votes to ratify the Standard on behalf of the Board of Directors. The new Standard version then takes effect on the day it is published here, on the Project’s website.

Anyone can submit comments using our public comment form at any time. All public comments received outside a public comment period are considered during the next scheduled general revision. If you wish to submit comments, please review the current Standard first, as we find it especially valuable to receive comments about specific topics and sections.

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Stakeholder involvement

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 all stakeholders' feedback to maintain a balance of meaningfulness and achievability.

Stakeholder interests are categorized 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

Terms of Reference and Standard Oversight

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 Standards Committee and Board Standard Oversight Committee maintain the Standard.

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

Get involved

Submit a public comment on The Standard.

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