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Certified Non-GMO FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Certified Non-GMO by A Greener World

What products do you certify?

We currently accept applications for Certified Non-GMO by AGW livestock, crops, feed and seed. However, we are continually expanding our certification scope to encompass more products, so please contact info@agreenerworld.org with any questions.

Do you charge any fees?

Yes, but we’re confident you’ll find our rates to be highly competitive compared to other credible Non-GMO certifications! Our charges include a one-time application fee of $81, with an annual audit fee of $550. (We offer a discount for producer groups with multiple sites/farms.) We may also need to charge additional fees for GMO testing, depending on the risk of supplements and livestock feeds you use, but will discuss this with you during the application process.

If I raise livestock, do I need to be Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW?

Yes. If you are a livestock farmer and you want to use the Certified Non-GMO by AGW label on your meat, dairy products, fiber or eggs, your livestock must be Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW before you apply. Combining high-welfare, sustainable management and non-GMO verification is what makes our program unique in the marketplace.

Crop farms, feed producers and seed producers do not need to be Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW to use the Certified Non-GMO by AGW logo for their products. Get in touch if you have any questions.

Is this separate from the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW audit?

The Certified Non-GMO by AGW program has its own standards that must be audited and verified on-farm. But the good news is the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW audits can usually take place on the same day, saving you time and money.

My farm is Certified Grassfed by AGW. Do I still need to be audited for non-GMO?

Yes, if you want to use both the Certified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW logos. However, applications from Certified Grassfed by AGW farms are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Although you are feeding a 100% grass and forage diet, we may still need to check for any high-risk feeds, such as alfalfa, molasses and cottonseed meal.

The Certified Non-GMO by AGW program also checks for certain pesticides, herbicides and veterinary products that can contain GMOs.

Can I use your seal without being audited or inspected?

In the U.S., accurate labeling is a legal requirement as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 9, 317.8 (a), which states that, “No product or any of its wrappers, packaging, or other containers shall bear any false or misleading marking, label, or other labeling.” In Canada, labeling is governed by the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (CPLA), which prevents “misrepresentation and deception in packaging and labelling.” As we are a registered label claim with published standards and guidelines, it would be illegal to use our seal without a valid certificate.

Can I make a non-GMO claim without being certified?

No. Under USDA regulations, any U.S. food suppliers making label or labeling claims that GMO ingredients were not used in a meat, poultry or egg product must hold a valid non-GMO certificate from a recognized third-party certifying organization, such as the Certified Non-GMO by AGW program.

Why does my feed need to be tested?

We set a maximum GMO contamination threshold of 0.9% on all moderate and high-risk feeds to ensure consumer and retailer confidence that all products using our logo are truly (under 1%) non-GMO. On this basis, we require farms to test moderate and high-risk feeds at specific intervals throughout the year. Your AGW auditor may also collect samples of moderate and high-risk feeds during the on-farm audit for spot testing.

I only feed organic feeds, do I still need to test?

In many cases, yes. This is because most Organic certifiers operating in North America do not routinely test products for the absence of GMOs. While we recognize that Certified Organic feeds carrying the NOP seal are generally non-GMO, the lack of routine testing by other certifiers means that we occasionally find Organic feeds containing well above our threshold of 0.9% GMO contamination . We therefore need to assess Certified Organic feeds on a case-by-case basis.

I only feed non-GMO feeds, do I still need to test?

Yes. As with some Certified Organic feeds, our routine testing procedures frequently identify certified Non-GMO feeds that exceed our threshold of 0.9% GMO contamination. However, testing is not required as frequently if high-risk inputs are accompanied by valid Non-GMO documentation.

Will you accept other Non-GMO certifications as equivalent?

We no longer grant equivalence with the Certified Non-GMO Project Verified program. The Non-GMO Project Verified program recently lowered its standards by adopting a much higher action threshold for GMO contamination in animal feeds (an average of 5.0%) than the 0.9% threshold set by our Certified Non-GMO by AGW program standards. To maintain consumer and retailer confidence that all products using the Certified Non-GMO by AGW logo are truly (under 1%) non-GMO, we must ensure producers are meeting our testing threshold of 0.9% for animal feeds.

How long does it take to become certified?

Certification may be granted in as little as eight weeks, but in some cases it can take several months, depending on testing requirements and supply chain review. For time-sensitive market considerations, we suggest you get in touch as soon as possible to discuss your plans in full confidence. We look forward to working with you!

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