Consumer demand for products that don’t contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms) is growing every year. But how does a company get their food verified and approved by the Non-GMO Project? Tommy’s Superfoods went through this process with all of our frozen vegetable blends, so we thought we would give you an overview of what’s involved.
Being certified by the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program was important to us (as it is to many other food producers) because it is the only third-party verification program in North America. The Non-GMO Project’s integrity is reinforced by the verification standards they uphold and the scientific expertise of third-party technical administrators. These technical administrators are responsible for conducting the necessary testing that determines if the Non GMO Project standards are being met and are important because they, along with the labs performing the analysis, are responsible for analyzing all ingredients and inputs and determining where and how each one was produced. For example, DNA testing in the lab can determine if the honey produced by honeybees (and used as a natural sweetener in many products) was made through feeding on or near GMO corn.
The Non GMO Project’s website provides information about their approved technical administrators who food producers can choose to work with. Below is a quick overview of the current list, but for more information, be sure to visit:
FoodChain ID was the Non-GMOs Project’s very first technical administrator, and they are responsible for verifying over 26,000 products (and growing). In addition, they offer verification services for gluten-free, kosher, organic, and food safety certification which is helpful for those food producers seeking additional certifications.
Where Food Comes From, Inc. has three distinct divisions: Validus Verification Services, IMI Global, and International Certification Services, and each offers a variety of independent, third-party auditing verification and certification services.
For over thirty years SCS Global Services has been providing third-party environmental and sustainability certification. SCS is also a Certified B Corporation, reflecting their commitment to socially sound and environmentally responsible business practices.
NSF International has over seventy years of experience as an independent, accredited organization partnering with businesses that want to verify and certify food, supplements, and other consumer products.
The Non GMO Project Testing Labs
When a company selects a technical administrator to work with them to verify their ingredients and inputs, they also work with an approved testing lab where all of the verification protocols are followed. Approved labs must conform to the Non-GMO Project Standard as well as additional requirements for conducting select tests needed for all high-risk GMO crops such as the soybeans used to produce soy lecithin.
Depending on the food product and how many ingredients it contains, it may cost a company hundreds of dollars to have each piece tested and analyzed. This is required to ensure that the food product is GMO free and necessary if a company wants to receive the verified non-GMO label to use on its products. However, for businesses that are concerned about the use of GMOs in food, seeking certification is worth every bit of time testing takes and every dollar spent to ensure that their product is produced without GMO contamination.
At Tommy’s Superfoods, making sure our frozen vegetable blends were GMO free was an important milestone to reach. We’re proud of our Non GMO Project verification and excited to be bringing healthy food back to the frozen food aisle! If you’re a consumer concerned about the use of GMOs, we encourage you to visit the Non-GMOs Project lifestyle website, LivingNonGMO.org, There, you’ll find a variety of resources such as blogs and discussion groups, products and producer news, tasty recipes and more. It’s a great way to stay updated on what is happening around the country in regards to this important topic.