Nutrasource receives U.S. patent for method of testing GMO content

Nutrasource has received a patent for a method of testing GMOs as part of its International Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Evaluation and Notification (IGEN) program.

Nutrasource Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Services (Guelph, ON, Canada), has announced the reception of a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on “Methods for detecting genetically modified organisms” for its International Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Evaluation and Notification (IGEN) program. The IGEN program verifies label claims about the presence of GMOs in products and ingredients.

“We are thrilled to announce the reception of this patent for our IGEN program, as we continuously aim to increase consumer confidence promoting transparency,” said William Rowe, president and CEO of Nutrasource, in a press release. “The IGEN certification program was designed specifically to certify that any product, from herbal supplements and vitamins to food ingredients do not contain any of the GMO genes and proteins found in common bioengineered crops.”

Currently, the United States requires companies to disclose the presence of GMOs in their products, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada do not otherwise require brands to disclose the absence if GMOs. Third party certifications such as IGEN are therefore voluntary, but offer piece of mind to consumers who believe that federal regulations are not sufficiently transparent or comprehensive enough, and provide a point of differentiation for brands who want to showcase the absence of GMOs from their products.

“While there is no conclusive evidence that GMOs have a direct or immediate effect on human health, many are concerned about the long-term health and environmental impacts of genetic engineering,” explains Rowe. “As a result, consumers are demanding that GMO products be labelled so they can be better informed on what they are purchasing.”

Some retailers, such as Whole Foods Market, require non-GMO label claims on products to be substantiated by a third party. Whole Foods Market, for example, accepts substantiation from the following third parties:

  • Non-GMO Project
  • NSF Non-GMO
  • USDA Organic (or equivalent international program)
  • Nutrasource iGen (for supplements only)

Other major retailers are also considering implementing similar guidelines.