Frequently Asked Questions
About the IGEN™ Program
What is the IGEN™ Program and how does it work?
IGEN™ stands for the International Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Evaluation and Notification Program. IGEN™ is a third party certification program developed by Nutrasource to test for the presence of EU authorized genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Once a company voluntarily subscribes to IGEN™, their products are tested by specific lot/batch using direct analysis. Certification with the IGEN™ program produces free Product Reports that are available to the public; these reports outline GMO findings in clear understandable language.
Does IGEN™ endorse certain products or brands?
No, IGEN™ is an unbiased third party. Companies that choose to subscribe to IGEN™ are doing so on a voluntary basis and are submitting their products for testing. As a result, we do not endorse specific products, brands or companies.
How do I determine if a product is IGEN™ certified?
If the IGEN™ certification mark is present on a product label, it indicates that the product has been certified by the IGEN™ Program. Additionally, to view lot/batch-specific testing results, you can explore the Product Reports on the IGEN™ website.
What is the IGEN™ certification mark?
If you see the IGEN™ certification mark on a product label, it means that the product has been tested and certified by the IGEN™ program. The IGEN™ certification mark is a seal of approval that can be included on the label of IGEN™ certified products, company websites, social media and marketing materials.
What does IGEN™ test products for?
IGEN™ tests for the presence of EU authorized genetically modified organisms (GMOs), including both proteins and genes.
How is IGEN™ different from other GMO programs?
Several process-based non-GMO certification programs largely rely on written material such as chain of custody forms for ingredients to track a product’s GMO status. They may require testing for ingredients derived from high-risk crops which have known GMO varieties available, or crops where there’s evidence of comingling with GMO crops. Further, products may achieve non-GMO status so long as high-risk ingredients do not surpass the EU threshold of 0.9% GMO. In contrast, the IGEN™ Program tests finished products, and when supplied by a client, all the components used to make them (e.g. ingredients, process chemical, raw materials). To achieve IGEN™ certification, a product must contain undetectable amounts of GMO equivalent to <0.1% GMO.
What types of products are tested by IGEN™?
Consumer health products, foods and beverages – and the ingredients used to make them – can be tested and certified through the IGEN™ Program.
What are GMOs and what is genetic engineering?
The acronym GMO stands for genetically modified organism. GMOs are produced by transferring a specific gene from one organism to another, often from non-related species (e.g. from bacteria to a plant). This modifies the DNA in a way that would not likely occur in nature. This process is called genetic engineering.
Why are some people concerned about GMOs and their safety?
While there is no evidence that consuming GMOs has a direct or immediate effect on human health, many people are concerned about both the longer-term health and environmental implications of this relatively new technology. Consumers are demanding that GMO products be labelled so that they can make informed choices about the products they buy.
Why test for GMOs?
Consumers are increasingly concerned about the GMO content of the foods they eat. By testing and verifying the GMO status of foods and the ingredients used to make them, the IGEN™ Program provides an independent confirmation of the GMO status of foods, allowing consumers to select products that meet their standards. Products that have been tested and certified can include the IGEN™ logo to show that they have participated in and passed this rigorous testing program.
IGEN™ Product Reports
What are IGEN™ Product Reports?
IGEN™ Product Reports are comprehensive documents that list all of the testing results and pass/fail status for each product by batch/lot number, allowing consumers to read and interpret the testing results and compare the GMO status of products before buying them. Product Reports are free for consumers to download from the IGEN™ website.
How do I read Product Reports?
Product Reports contain the company’s contact information, a detailed summary of the product, the IGEN™ pass/fail rating and the testing results for that specific batch/lot number. A product has passed when it does not contain detectable amounts of EU authorized GMO proteins and genes included in the IGEN™ testing panel. Explore Product Reports now.
Why can’t I find my product on the Product Reports page?
If you do not see your brand of interest on the list, we cannot comment on its GMO status. In these instances, we encourage you to contact the company directly and refer them to the IGEN™ Program.
I have a question about a specific product, SKU or batch/lot number. How can I find out more?
IGEN™ provides all of our testing results in Product Reports in a standard format that reports results as compared to label claims and recognized standards. For information on any other aspect of a product or company, the company should be contacted directly.