Genetically Modified Organisms/Genetic Engineering

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Say "No" to GMOs!

Genetically engineered crops and organisms are prohibited in certified organic production. CCOF opposes the commercialization and use of genetically engineered (GE) crops and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) because of the environmental and potential health threats they pose to organic growers and consumers. Organic farmers shouldn’t have to carry the burden of trying to protect their crops from being contaminated with pollen from genetically engineered varieties. All farmers should be able to buy seeds that are free of GE sequences. Consumers have the right to know what they are eating and to be able to choose foods that are not made with GE ingredients. By purchasing organic foods, you can be confident that you aren’t getting GMOs in your food.

GMO Labeling

CCOF supports consumers' right to know what is in their food through labeling of GE products. A federal bill passed in 2016 instructed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a mandatory “bioengineered food disclosure standard,” or label for foods made with GMOs. The law recognizes that organic certification is sufficient basis for making a non-GMO claim on a label. The CCOF policy team engaged with rulemaking for enforcing this law, advocating that all foods derived from GM crops and organisms be labeled with clear, readily understood language or logo and not rely on electronic or digital disclosures. According to the rule proposed by USA in 2018, GMO labels on most products would be mandatory beginning January 1, 2020.

CCOF at Work

CCOF works to keep GMOs out of our fields and out of our food in a variety of ways.

  • CCOF Board Calls for Moratorium on GMOs in Agriculture. The CCOF Board of Directors approved an organizational GMO Policy Position in 2014 that calls for a moratorium on GMOs in agriculture and confirms that certified organic production is the “gold standard” for non-GMO products.
  • CCOF Opposes Approval of New GM Crops. CCOF has submitted numerous public comments to APHIS, the federal agency in charge of approving new GM crop varieties, expressing opposition to these crops because of the economic losses GM contamination causes to organic farmers and the threat posed to organic farms by increased amounts of herbicides applied to herbicide-resistant crops.
  • CCOF Works with NOSB to Improve Organic Standards for Pure Seed and Update GM Definitions. CCOF has submitted comments encouraging the NOSB to update its definition of “excluded methods” and to strengthen guidance on preventing GMO presence in organic products.

If you have a concern about GMOs in organic, please contact the CCOF policy team.