After two years of development work, Nutrasource begins to talk about its IGEN (Iinternational ggenetically modified Evaluation and NOTOtification), with William Rowe, President and CEO, making a presentation at noon on Friday March 6 at the Marriott Hotel during Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim.
“Interest in the dietary supplement industry program is off the charts,” Rowe told NutraIngredients-USA. “Our goal is to have a cost-effective, evidence-based, testing-oriented certification program. It will be timely and technically robust.
Rowe is unsurprisingly kept up with many details of the program ahead of its presentation in Anaheim, and noted that the program is in a key validation phase.
“We have worked closely with DS Industry Group to develop an appropriate testing and certification program that meets their needs. We expect the program to go international because it is a global issue. “
At Expo West, Rowe will present an overview of the IGEN program and details of its industry pilot phase. “This will allow key brands, early adopters and ingredient suppliers to learn about the program and familiarize themselves with the testing process, and will allow us to further refine the program. ”
The company has been working on the program for about two years when Rowe started seeing non-GMO messages taking to living rooms. “I asked myself: what is there in terms of a test-based solution for finished products? Our team then worked diligently to assess and develop the best techniques and pathways to fill this gap.
NDI has learned a lot from its IFOS program for fish oil and omega-3 products, which is in its 11th year. The program tests hundreds of finished products for nutritional quality, contaminants and stability and provides test results to the consumer in free consumer notification reports on the company’s website www.ifosprogram.com.
“Compared to GMO testing, fish oil is relatively standardized and the upper tolerance limits and associated test methods are well established and internationally recognized and accepted”,Rowe said. However, the search for GMOs in finished consumer products is “A very new and avant-garde concept requiring in-depth research and additional understanding”,he said. “The pilot phase of the IGEN program will continue to answer these questions for various product types across the dietary supplement spectrum.”
“The basis of our entire program is to test the finished products as a starting point and then go back” Rowe said. “The IGEN program will be a top-down approach. “
So what is driving this “off the charts” interest? “We see a lot of companies and brands wanting to get ahead of this issue, and based on feedback from our customers, they just want to send a genuine message about the non-GMO status of their products. We are introducing a program and a tool to do just that. IGEN is really about transparency.