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Nutrasource gets US Patent for GMO testing method

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© maybefalse / Getty Images
© maybefalse / Getty Images

Related tags: Gmo labeling, Certification

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted a patent to Guelph, Canada-based Nutrasource on “Methods for detecting genetically modified organisms” for its IGEN certification program.

US Patent number 11,060,126​ was granted on July 13, 2021, and welcomed by William Rowe, President and CEO of Nutrasource Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Services. “We are thrilled to announce the reception of this patent for our IGEN program, as we continuously aim to increase consumer confidence promoting transparency,”​ said Rowe. “The IGEN certification program was designed specifically to certify that any product, from herbal supplements and vitamins to food ingredients do not contain any of the GMO genes and proteins found in common bioengineered crops.”

The International Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Evaluation and Notification program verifies label claims about the presence of GMOs in products and ingredients.

Current regulations in the US and Canada do not require companies to declare a product’s GMO status. Despite consumer demand for mandatory GMO labelling, guidelines in North America ask companies for only voluntary GMO labelling, meaning products that do contain GMOs may not be labelled as such. 

IGEN is a third-party program that works by encouraging food and dietary supplement companies to voluntarily test their products for the presence of GMOs and showcase their GMO status on their labels.

Common GMO plants used in the food supply include:

Alfalfa, Apple, Canola, Chicory, Cotton, Eggplant, Eucalyptus, Flax, Maize (corn), Melon, Papaya, Plum, Poplar, Potato, Pumpkin, Rice, Sugar beet, Sugarcane, Tobacco, Soybean, Wheat

“While there is no conclusive evidence that GMOs have a direct or immediate effect on human health, many are concerned about the long-term health and environmental impacts of genetic engineering,” ​added Rowe. “As a result, consumers are demanding that GMO products be labelled so they can be better informed on what they are purchasing.”

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