Non-GMO Not Just a Small Niche Anymore

Although GMO crops were introduced only a few decades ago, they quickly gained acceptance. In 2015, the USDA reported that 94 percent of U.S. soybeans and 92 percent of U.S. corn were planted to genetically engineered varieties.

However, some consumers and food industry stakeholders have sought non-GMO products and made the non-GMO claim more mainstream.

Recently, Mintel, a market researcher, reported that newly launched U.S. food and beverage products have increasingly used non-GMO or GMO-free claims. In 2015, 15.7 percent of new products made such claims compared with 1.9 percent in 2009. Food companies need a reliable non-GMO ingredient supply, and farmers have begun to respond.

We at have committed to serving the non-GMO market. Our main research facility – The Farm Research Center in Garden City, Mo. – will only use non-GMO seed for corn trials in 2016. Its non-GMO research this year also includes other crops like soybeans. Through this research, we learn valuable insights to share with our customers.

In addition, we at have supported launching the Verification Identifying Smart Plant System (VISPS). As a standard that will soon undergo ISO-17065 certification, VISPS provides a low-cost option for verifying non-GMO, “almost organic” and transitional organic crops.

Growers can qualify their operations as Smart Farms if they satisfy VISPS criteria for a given claim like non-GMO. Plus, they must complete a third-party audit. Producers can use the Smart Farms brand when marketing crops into traceable, value-added markets.

Call us at (844) 242-4367 to learn more about enrolling in VISPS or growing non-GMO crops.

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