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The basics of food labelling: GMO Statement

Posted by Bertrand Duteil on 30/06/2016

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From the producer to the buying company, documentation transparency is an important topic for all companies in the food industry. When it comes to processing raw material, it is necessary to document from the beginning the origin of each product.

Over the last years, the identification of “Genetically Modified Organisms” (GMO) has become a legal requirement in the EU. It guarantees a complete product transparency and food safety for the consumers, but also informs the other companies about the presence of GMOs in their products.

Regarding the manipulation and the commerce of food, two EU regulations serve as basic principle:

1. EC Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 about genetically modified food and feed(more details available on the following page: download PDF)

2. EC-Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003 traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms and the traceability of food and feed products produced from genetically modified organisms
(more details available on the following page: download PDF)

As a buying company, you need a certificate from your suppliers about the use of GMOs during their production process, to fully trace the use of GMOs in the final product.

GMOs Suppliers Statement:

The GMO regulations rule the basic principles and the boundaries for documentation and identification of Generically Modified Organisms. It is not only required for Genetically Modified food, but also for single ingredients such as food additive which may be used during the production.

Raw material suppliers need to provide a product specific declaration, stating if the delivered goods have been genetically modified or in contact with genetically modified product during their production. The accepted limit to be defined as GMO free is below 0,9% when it is technically inevitable or accidental. Nevertheless, the regulation does not give any precise definition or strict rule specifying “technically inevitable” and “accidentally”.

Tips for the GMO Statement:

  • The GMO statement is in most cases part of the product specification (link) provided by the suppliers, even if it has not been explicitly required.
  • A lot of food company request from their suppliers a GMO-free certificate, to offer a GMO free end-product to their consumers. The bio certificate can in this case be used  to define the product as extra “GMO free”.

GMO-free declaration:

The GMO-free declaration certifies that the product has been produced exclusively without using any GMO (in the frame of the legal requirements). This declaration serves as basis for the use of the Bio label as stated in the EC regulation (EC) No 834/2007 ruling the organic production and labelling of organic products.
(more details available on the following page: download PDF)


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Tags: Insider, raw material documentation, for supplier manager