Non-GMO Project Verification
- Why Partner With NSF?
- Enrollment Process
- Verification Process
- About the Non-GMO Project
The Non-GMO Project (nongmoproject.org) is North America’s only independent verification for non-GMO (genetically modified organism) food, beverages, baby food and infant formula, personal care products, pet products, ingredients, dietary supplements, animal feed and planting seed.
Now one of the fastest growing labels in the food industry, Non-GMO Project has its mark has over 20,000 verified products accounting for over $5 billion in sales. This sector is projected to keep growing. Global sales of non-GMO foods and beverages are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent in the next five years, which would represent 15 percent of the market with a value of $800 billion in 2017, according to Packaged Facts.
NSF has over 70 years of food experience verifying product safety and quality for growers, manufacturers, packagers, distributors and retailers. Our expertise has made us trusted technical advisors to the Non-GMO Project and our wide range of services means that we can save you time and money by bundling food safety and product and facility certifications with your Non-GMO Project verification.
Products that are Non-GMO Project verified meet consensus-based standards that include GMO risk assessment, traceability, segregation and testing at critical control points to verify that products are not genetically modified.
Non-GMO Project verification is now the fastest growing label in the North American food industry with over 20,000 products accounting for $5 billion in sales. Non-GMO products are projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent over the next five years to comprise 15 percent of global food and beverage retail sales, a market value of $800 billion by 2017, according to Packaged Facts. Non-GMO Project verification now presents a clear ROI based on these market projections.
Other benefits of Non-GMO Project verification include:
- Increased opportunities for market share and market differentiators
- Ability to meet consumer and retailer demand for non-GMO labeling
- Access to global non-GMO markets
- Comprehensive risk management
- Compliance with emerging retail, industry and government requirements
- Increased consumer confidence and loyalty
- Independent, third-party credibility for non-GMO claims
Why Partner With NSF?
As a trusted technical advisor for the Non-GMO Project, NSF has a clear understanding of complex GMO issues. Our Non-GMO Project verification process has been refined to be streamlined and seamless so we can efficiently and accurately verify your products to the standard. NSF’s broad expertise helps us go above and beyond other verification administrators. Besides our exceptional service, we also offer complementary services such as training.
As the preferred technical administrator for some of the most respected national retailers, we provide you the same first-class customer service that thousands of businesses who trust NSF’s food certification and auditing expertise have come to expect. Our strong industry relationships are a testament to our exemplary customer service, and they help us stay ahead of market trends.
NSF is fully equipped to verify your products wherever you are. We have a global network of hundreds of expert auditors, program managers, inspectors and laboratory staff ready to provide top notch verification services.
In addition, we can maximize your cost efficiencies and minimize operational disruptions by bundling Non-GMO Project verification with other label claim, food safety and GFSI certification services such as:
Enrolling for Non-GMO Project verification with NSF International is done in two easy steps:
- Complete the Non-GMO Project’s Verification Inquiry Form.
This will be sent to Non-GMO Project administrators for evaluation.
- When you have been accepted by the Non-GMO Project, complete NSF’s Non-GMO Project Enquiry Form. This form will be evaluated by an NSF representative who will then contact you with information on the next steps of the verification process.
When you have completed enrollment with both the Non-GMO Project and NSF, your dedicated NSF project manager will contact you to begin the six-step verification process. The core requirements of the Non-GMO Project standard are traceability, segregation and testing at critical control points to verify that products do not contain genetically modified ingredients.
Step 1: Application
You submit basic information about your products, ingredients, number of facilities, etc. and a sign a participating company agreement and licensing agreement.
Step 2: Document Submission
You provide detailed information about the product(s) you are submitting for review. This includes ingredient lists, production facility information, test results, etc.
Step 3: Document Review
An NSF technical evaluator reviews the documents you have submitted. We may ask for clarification or more information during the review.
Step 4: Pre-Assessment Report and Quote
Your NSF project manager sends you a pre-assessment report and quote for you to review and approve.
At this step, if you would like to bundle inspections to save time and money, please let us know. The Non-GMO Project verification inspection can be combined with: USDA organic, NSF gluten-free, SQF, BRC, GLOBALG.A.P., PrimusGFS and CanadaGAP inspections.
Step 5: On-Site Inspection
If applicable, we schedule an on-site inspection with you. We can bundle this inspection with other label claim and GFSI certification inspections.
Step 6: Certification and Ongoing Compliance
Congratulations! Your products are now Non-GMO Project verified!
You may now add the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal on your packaging in accordance with the licensing agreement.
About the Non-GMO Project
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization offering North America’s only third-party certification and labeling for non-GMO food and products. Since 2008, the Non-GMO Project has enrolled over 20,000 non-GMO verified products from over 2,200 brands. Products that have been Non-GMO Project verified include food, beverages, baby food and infant formula, body care products, pet products, vitamins and supplements, wholesale ingredients, animal feed and planting seed.
Products that have passed the Non-GMO Project’s independent verification process are issued a seal of approval. The Non-GMO verified seal assures consumers that these products have been produced according to consensus-based best practices for GMO (genetically modified organism) avoidance.
For more information about the Non-GMO Project, please visit its website.
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How soon can I expect to be verified?
Once NSF has received all of your application documents and payment, you can expect to receive a pre-assessment review letter in three to four weeks. Upon NSF’s receipt of your complete response to the letter, you can expect to receive your verification decision in about eight weeks.
How do you define a “primary participant”?
The primary participant is the company that enrolls in the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program. This is the entity that is seeking Non-GMO Project verification and will “own” the verification certificate.
How do you define the “location seeking verification”?
This is the physical address of the location seeking verification. The name and address of the location seeking verification should be the same as the company that wishes to own the verification process and certificate, sign a contract with NSF, pay the NSF fees and be the NSF client. The location seeking verification may be the same location as the primary participant. Alternatively, if the primary participant is already enrolled, the location may be an additional location, which is owned by the primary participant.
How do you define the “primary contact”?
The primary contact should be the person responsible for the Non-GMO Project program at the location seeking verification. This is the person NSF will contact regarding the verification process.
How do you define a “brand owner”?
A brand owner is any entity that owns a specific brand or ID mark and contracts third parties to manufacture products under that brand or ID mark.
Note: Brand owner that manufacture, process or repack their own product, as well as those that own or manage any of their facilities, should seek verification as a handler and complete the Non-GMO Project Handler Compliance Plan and profile forms.
What are the brand owner compliance requirements?
The brand owner compliance requirements are outlined in NSF’s Brand Owner Compliance Plan. Essentially the brand owner must meet the same basic compliance requirements as any Non-GMO Project participant for traceability, compliant inputs and testing. The brand owner must also ensure that all co-packers are either Variance #9 approved co-packers or Non-GMO Project verified participants
How do you define a co-packer vs. a handler?
A handler is any production or handling operation seeking verification to sell, label or otherwise represent goods with any Non-GMO Project verified claim.
A co-packer is a type of handler. However, some co-packers, which co-pack for Non-GMO Project verified brand owners, may be approved to handle Non-GMO Project verified product under Variance #9.
What are the co-packer requirements?
Co-packers must be either fully enrolled Non-GMO Project verified participants or Variance #9 approved co-packers.
Variance #9 approved co-packers must have a contractual relationship with the brand owner/primary participant, produce product of a system (such as organic certification and other identity preservation systems) that has been designed to avoid GMOs and have a defined plan for becoming fully enrolled in the Non-GMO Project Product Verification Program within a defined time frame, not to exceed three years. Alternatively, the brand owner may sponsor the facility survey and on-site inspection for contracted operations.
For specific details, please see the Non-GMO Project Standard – Variance #9.