From The Non-GMO Project on October 31, 2018
Protecting Our Supply Chain from the Threat of the GMO Potato
For the first time since 2011, we have added a new crop to the Non-GMO Project Standard’s High-Risk list. GMO potatoes were first commercialized in 2015, but until recently were produced in limited quantities and posed little threat of contamination to the conventional and non-GMO supply chain. According to our careful monitoring, the Simplot Innate White Russet potato is now widely commercially available and therefore potato as a crop species has been moved to the High-Risk list of the Non-GMO Project Standard. As a result of today’s move, products made with potato will be subject to extra scrutiny before they become Non-GMO Project Verified.
Today’s updated version of the Standard also reflects the addition of a non-testable variety of soy to the High-Risk list. This type of soy, produced with a form of gene editing called TALEN, was also moved from the Monitored-Risk list to the High-Risk list due to increased commercial availability and the corresponding threat of contamination to the non-GMO supply chain. While the Non-GMO Project testing requirements for products containing soy remain unchanged, there will now be an additional affidavit requirement to protect against contamination by TALEN soy.
The supply chain risks we’re now seeing from new GMOs are unprecedented in the decade we’ve been verifying products. Not only are new genetic engineering techniques being used, but for the first time we’re seeing biotechnology companies misrepresent their products by using unscientific arguments to claim that they are non-GMO.
It’s no wonder biotech companies want to distance themselves from the consumer rejection of GMOs. According to the Hartman Organic and Natural Report 2018, 46% of shoppers deliberately avoid GMOs while shopping and 36% say they are buying more non-GMO products in comparison to a year ago. Not only that, but a full third of consumers surveyed say they want to withhold support of companies that use GMOs in their formulations.
Non-GMO Project Verified is the only certification that is addressing these new GMOs aggressively and comprehensively. We’re the only organization with the dedicated expertise to really understand how and where the new GMOs threaten the supply chain, and what to do about it.
To learn more about how the GMO potato impacts the supply chain, and the implications for brands and retailers, please see our comprehensive FAQs.
As a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, we are committed to ensuring that everyone has the information needed to make an informed choice in order to avoid all types of GMOs. As the gold standard for shoppers looking to avoid GMOs, the Non-GMO Project will continue to lead the way in addressing the risks posed by new GMOs.
Thank you for your continued partnership as we work together to protect a non-GMO food supply, now and for future generations.