Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
Can I use Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in my product?
OMRI refers to the U.S. National Organic Standards definition of genetic engineering at Title 7 Part 205.105 (e) and 205.2 Excluded Methods for review of input materials and processes. Ingredients that meet this definition are not allowed in OMRI Listed products or in certified organic production:
"Directly produced products or ingredients derived from genetic engineering techniques, cannot be made otherwise, and have a potential to express the trait that has been added by such techniques. Genetic engineering includes a variety of methods used to genetically modify organisms or influence their growth and development by means that are not possible under natural conditions or processes and are not considered compatible with organic production. Such methods include cell fusion, micro- and macro encapsulation, and recombinant DNA technology (including gene deletion, gene doubling, introducing a foreign gene, and changing positions of genes when achieved by recombinant DNA technology). Such methods do not include traditional breeding, conjugation, fermentation, hybridization, in vitro fertilization, or tissue culture."
All applicants must declare on their Product Report form (included in the Application Kit) whether their final product or any its ingredients are produced by Genetic Engineering. In most circumstances, the use of genetically engineered organisms or products of genetically engineered organisms are prohibited in any form or at any stage in organic production, processing, or handling.
When specific criteria are met, a GE material is reviewed as non-GE material and may be allowed for use in OMRI Listed products. To address questions about Excluded Methods (GE), OMRI has designed Decision Tree Flowcharts for GE in Crops, Livestock and Processing on pages 146 -149 of the OMRI Policy and Standards Manual. Please see the Decision Tree Flowcharts for questions about the use of GE materials in OMRI Listed Products. Applicants receive a copy of the OMRI Policy and Standards Manual with their Application Kit.