In an effort to provide as much product transparency as possible, we joined the NutraSource IGEN program, which allows companies to test their products for GMO (genetically modified organism) content and showcase the GMO status of products to consumers and the marketplace. Consumers can then make informed GMO choices based on scientific data.
What is IGEN?
The IGEN (International GMO Evaluation and Notification) Program aims to verify label claims about the presence of GMOs in products and ingredients. The IGEN Non-GMO Certified icon found on Carlson labels certifies that the finished product does not contain any GMO markers.
What are GMOs?
GMOs are produced by a process called genetic engineering, which involves transferring a gene from one organism to another. This modifies the recipient’s DNA in a way that would not likely occur in nature.
GMOs are used in modern agriculture to change a plant’s physical characteristics, such as disease tolerance or resistance to herbicides and pesticides. This helps farmers increase crop yield and improve plant survival.
GMO food crops are now a staple in North America. Common GMO plants used in the food supply include:
- Maize (corn)
- Sugar beet
What does IGEN test for?
IGEN certifies a variety of product types, from supplements and vitamins to food ingredients, to make sure they do not contain GMO genes and proteins found in common bioengineered crops.
These markers include:
- Transgenic proteins involved in certain types of genetic engineering (e.g., Cry1Ab, Cry1F, NPTII)
- DNA elements used in genetic engineering (e.g., P35S/CaMV, TNOS/A. tumefaciens)