High-Risk Crops & Inputs

One of the elements that sets the Non-GMO Project Standard apart from other non-GMO claims is the requirement to test high-risk ingredients for GMO contamination.

An ingredient can be classified as high risk if it is derived from, contains derivatives of, or is produced through a process involving organisms that are known to be genetically modified and commercially produced. The following inputs are considered high risk:

Classification Ingredient
Crops Alfalfa, Canola, Corn, Cotton, Papaya, Soy, Sugar beet, Zucchini/Yellow summer squash
Animal Derivatives Eggs, Gelatin, Hides and skin, Honey and other apiculture products, Meat, Milk
Animal Production Inputs rBGH, rBST, Semen, Vaccines, Veterinary medicines
Microbes and Microbial Products Enzymes, including chymosin, Cultures and starters including yeast

To meet the Non-GMO Project Standard, an ingredient derived from a high-risk organism will need test results from the raw source material to prove that it is non-GMO. For example, in order to prove that soy lecithin meets the standard, the raw soy must be tested before it is processed into lecithin.

Animal products such as milk, meat, eggs, and honey are considered high-risk inputs due the prevalence of GMOs in animal feed. As such, animal products are evaluated by looking at the feed and testing high-risk inputs in the feed. Cloned animals and their progeny are also considered GMOs under the standard.