Genetically Modified Foods (GM foods or biotech foods) are foods produced from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques. These techniques are much more precise than mutagenesis (mutation breeding) where an organism is exposed to radiation or chemicals to create a non-specific but stable change.
The problem with genetic engineering is the random insertion of DNA in food plant gene which does not give any clue about where that gene has fitted into the existing genetic system leading to the disrupt functioning of other genes eventually producing novel proteins which were never a part of the food chain. The proteins produced could be toxins and allergens in foods. Genetic engineers are making changes to natural genetic coding by transferring genes from bacteria, viruses, and even animals - with unforeseen consequences. As a result of that natural gene sequences are vanishing and identity preservation is becoming stringent. These risks have lead to the demand of Non Genetically Modified (Non-GM) Food in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and other nations. The food safety, ethical issues and concerns regarding the environment and wildlife are other important reasons why consumers reluctant to buy GM food.
The environmental impact of GM food includes toxicity to harmless non-target species, toxicity to beneficial insects, threat to soil ecosystems, risk for aquatic life, swapping one pest for another, toxic effects of herbicides on ecosystems and increased weed tolerance to herbicide. Such facts have developed strong negative impact in consumers’ minds.
According to a recent survey by Mambo Sprouts Marketing, a market research firm based in Collingswood, NJ, found that consumers are buying Non-GMO products (93%) more than any category other than organic (99%) including antibiotic free and hormone free meat and poultry (85%) and gluten free foods (69%). Among those consumers who seek out Non-GMO foods (66%), a large majority (85%) want food products to be specifically certified and labelled as Non-GMO. Perhaps more importantly, seven in ten (70%) expect that products labelled “Organic” are Non-GMO. This compares to just 41% of consumers who expect “natural” products to be Non-GMO. Two in three (67%) wish retail stores should provide more information about Non-GMO such as signage, special sections and advertising features. Besides that 72% consumers are willing to pay more for Non-GMO food.
In the US sales of Non-GMO verified products increased 66% in 2012, topping approx $2.4 billion in sales, which was approx $450 million in 2010 and that doesn’t even include sales of Whole Foods Market’s branded products that are Non-GMO verified, making faster growing segment in natural and organic food industry.
Assure-IP certification system will support businesses to build the brands and products that are genuinely Non-GM. Non-GMO Assure-IP certification system is based on scientific data and PCR testing which will provide better confidence to consumers in Non-GMO Assure-IP brand and open a market of opportunities for producers and manufacturers.
Minimum Certification Requirement for
PCR Test Confirmation of each Ingredient / Raw Material
SOPs of all Production Units
Quality Management Systems (QMS)