Since the first official authorization for cultivation of genetically modified plants in 1996, more than 59 countries have authorized genetically modified events for import and/or commercialization either for food or feed production or for field trials. 28 countries were planting GM crops in 2012, bringing the global hectarage up to 170.3 million hectares with an annual growth rate of 6% up to 10.3 million from 160 million hectares in 2011 (Figures ISAAA Briefs 42-2010 and 44-2012).
Because of the constant development of approved and non-approved GM crop events, the risk of cross-contamination is increasing. At the same time, consumers' perception on GMO is different worldwide. In general, consumers expect a labeling of the GMO presence while European consumers do maintain a global rejection for the GMO products or products including ingredients, additives or aromas made from GMO.
To respond to this demand, the related industry sectors and retailers have to demonstrate the absence of GMO all along the supply chain and ensure its integrity.
The Eurofins IP (Identity Preservation) Standard: a relevant tool to preserve the non-GMO supply-chains
To meet these demands, Eurofins drew on its acknowledged expertise regarding the GMO analysis and the certification to design and market a standard intended for the guarantee of the integrity of the concerned sectors.
Since its launch in 2004, the Eurofins IP (Identity Preservation) Standard is updated on a regular basis by Eurofins Certification in collaboration with experts to remain consistent with the global context. The version 5 has been issued on July 2013. The Eurofins IP Standard is applicable to any kind of supply chain or organization, regardless of location or complexity, which are involved in the production, supply and/or processing (including storage, distribution, transport) of IP agricultural products and the derivatives foodstuffs.
Main requirements of the Eurofins IP Standard
The Eurofins IP Standard provides suitable management system and process requirements to be implemented within non-GMO supply-chains or sites wishing to ensure the IP integrity of their production (from seed to finished products). Two certification programs are available:
- IP Control Program: Set of requirements to be implemented in a single site whatever is its position within the supply chain.
- IP Complete Program: Set of requirements available for a supply chain organized as a group covering the entire supply chain from seed to finished products.
The IP Certification is issued upon satisfactory completion of the certification audit. The Eurofins IP Standard is based on the completion of an annual third-party audit. The audit scope covers all the actors of a supply-chain.
The main principles to be implemented by the stakeholders to comply with the Standard's requirements are:
- A complete GMO risk assessment updated on a regular basis.
- A relevant and effective traceability system.
- An effective segregation of the IP raw materials and products within the supply-chain.
- An analytical control plan based both on the risk assessment and a sampling strategy adapted to the supply-chain.
- Documented suppliers' approval and monitoring.
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