Posted on May 27, 2020 by Sustainable Food News

Study: 80% of consumers unaware that ‘organic’ means ‘non-GMO’

QAI says 'still a lot of education that needs to be done for general consumer out in the market'

Quality Assurance International (QAI), a major organic certification agency, said 80 percent of participants in its new study were unaware that the USDA’s organic logo meant that the product was also non-GMO.

In the latest video (see below) in QAI’s Organic Nibbles series, Business Development Manager Lauren Browning discussed QAI’s new educational mark, which states, “If it’s organic, it’s non-GMO.”

The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is prohibited in organic products, according to the USDA’s organic standards.

“This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t use any GMO ingredients,” the agency said.

Browning said the QAI study “suggests that there is still a lot of education that needs to be done for the general consumer out in the market.”


“All organic producers and processors are already required to submit affidavits that verify that their products are made without the big three,” Browning said in the video. “So that’s GMOs, ionizing radiation, and sewage sludge as a fertilizer, which already indicates that organic products are non-GMO as well, but most consumers don’t realize that.”


“So QAI decided to go back to the drawing boards and implement a new educational mark thats optional for our clients to use on their packaging,” Browning said.

“The new QAI logo boldly states if it’s organic, it’s non-GMO. It’s really just an educational mark so that when someone is looking at the logo they don’t have to wonder. They see the mark and they know that the product is organic, yes, but it also means all certified-organic products are inherently non-GMO,” Browning said.

San Diego, Calif.-based QAI, founded in 1989, certifies to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), Mexico Organics Product Law Standard (LPO), Canadian Organic Regime (COR), Quebec Organic Reference Standards, European Union Organic Regulation (EU No 1169/2011), NSF/ANSI 305: Organic Personal Care Products and QAI’s Certified Transitional program.

VIDEO: Watch QAI’s Lauren Browning discuss the certifier’s new education mark

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