When it comes to making informed choices about the food and pet food products you purchase, ‘Genetic Engineering’, ‘Genetic Modification’ and ‘Agricultural Biotechnology’ are three important terms you may have heard of.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines these terms as follows:
- Genetic Engineering (GE): “Manipulation of an organism's genes by introducing, eliminating or rearranging specific genes using the methods of modern molecular biology, particularly those techniques referred to as recombinant DNA techniques.”
- Genetic Modification (GM): “The production of heritable improvements in plants or animals for specific uses, via either genetic engineering or other more traditional methods. Some countries other than the United States use this term to refer specifically to genetic engineering.”
- Agricultural Biotechnology: “A range of tools, including traditional breeding techniques, that alter living organisms, or parts of organisms, to make or modify products; improve plants or animals; or develop microorganisms for specific agricultural uses. Modern biotechnology today includes the tools of genetic engineering.”
The International Standard Organization issued the ISO 17021: 2011 E standard, which describes how audits and certifications of management systems have to be performed and the commitments that all parties must meet. The SGS NO GE Ingredients Supply Chain Process Verification Standard (US Version) is guided by this ISO standard.
As an independent third party, SGS assesses and confirms that food and pet food manufacturers have put in place a management system that meets the specified requirements of the standard. That means you can buy a product with the confidence that manufacturing processes were performed in accordance with the SGS NO GE Ingredients Supply Chain Process Verification Standard (US Version).
The SGS NO GE Ingredients Supply Chain Process Verification Standard (US Version) helps to verify the process of preparing non-genetically engineered (non-GE) ingredients, food and beverage and/or pet food products for sale in the US.
The standard has been developed by SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. It can be used by any ingredient, food or pet food manufacturer, vendor, transport and storage provider to confirm that their processes assure that their products are non-GE and are properly separated from GE products.
The standard can verify:
- The use and inclusion of non-GE product ingredients in the food and pet food production and its processes
- That every stage of the process – from the seed through to transportation, collection, storage, processing and primary packaging – uses non-GE ingredients and separates the produce properly for non-GE and GE
- That products are completely traceable at every stage – from production to processing
- That no cross-contamination or co-mingling between GE and non-GE ingredients has taken place
- That the processes have undergone independent assessment, verification and approval