Responding to industry and consumer demand for non-GMO certification options, NSF International, the not-for-profit public health and standard development organization, has launched NSF Non-GMO True North. NSF International’s newest certification offering expands its suite of GMO transparency services for retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and producers. The new non-GMO certification, available through NSF International’s Consumer Values Verified™ Program, is offered in addition to Non-GMO Project verification.
NSF Non-GMO True North certification utilizes elements of global and domestic GMO labeling regulations, including EU and Vermont GMO labeling requirements. The certification gives credit for food safety quality system best practices including segregation, traceability and supplier approval and monitoring programs. Additionally, to ensure consumer confidence and transparency, NSF Non-GMO True North requires risk assessment-based unannounced audits, unannounced chain of custody sampling and independent testing. It also requires manufacturers to perform routine testing.
NSF Non-GMO True North provides manufacturers an additional certification for sourcing and production claims on packaging and in marketing materials at a time when non-verified and never inspected claims for “Non-GMO” or “GMO-Free” are increasingly commonplace in the absence of federal oversight.
Research reveals a gap between what American consumers report they want in GMO transparency and how U.S. manufacturers and the supply chain are keeping pace. According to a recent Consumer Reports study, “...GMO labeling isn’t required in the U.S. Yet our survey found that 92 percent of Americans want genetically modified foods to be labeled.”
“NSF Non-GMO True North is an expansion in non-GMO certification services that will help consumers make an informed decision about the food they eat, as more products in the marketplace are able to be independently certified by a trusted third-party certifier,” said Jaclyn Bowen, director of NSF International’s Consumer Values Verified Program. “As consumer demands for non-GMO products grow, NSF Non-GMO True North offers producers (including ranchers and farmers), processors and manufacturers a solution that utilizes fundamentals of other current and emerging regulatory and food safety requirements.”
The conversation around GMO labeling continues to grow in relevance as the U.S. government considers the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. Additionally, the state of Vermont GMO regulation requires the labeling of food products containing genetically engineered ingredients effective July 2016.
NSF Non-GMO True North is part of the NSF Consumer Values Verified Program which can harmonize multiple certifications and inspections, including its GMO transparency services, into one fluid process. This increases efficiency for companies trying to reach and inform today’s increasingly health- and environmentally-conscious consumers.
Additional services offered through the NSF Consumers Values Verified program include gluten-free, kosher and True Source Honey certifications well as organic certification offered by QAI.