In many European countries, some food producers and distributors, especially in the dairy industry, require that the supplied products be shown not to contain or be made from components that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Requirements for handling of genetically modified organisms and plants are laid down in the European legislation in Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council from 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed and Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003 from 22 September 2003 on the traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms and the traceability of food and feed products produced from genetically modified organisms and amending Directive 2001/18/EC.
In connection with the European legislation and harmonized legislation of the Czech Republic, the Association for Feed and Commodities (SKK), an association with companies producing agricultural commodities and feed, has developed the "Non GMO" Standard, which has the aim to ensure standard principles and documentary proof for food and feed producers, transporters reassuring consumers that genetic modification was not used in the production of food for human consumption throughout the whole food production supply chain.
The "Bez GMO” Standard is an entirely Czech voluntary standard and its content is compatible with foreign standards. The “Bez GMO” (Non-GMO) Standard is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and approved by the relevant section in the EU. It provides the consumers with the possibility to buy food of their choice.
The Czech National "Bez GMO " Standard specifies principles and conditions for ensuring such labelled products and the way of verification that genetically modified products have not been used at any stage of production of such food (planting of agricultural commodities, feeding of livestock, food additives) and that the management system in each specific stage of the supply chain ensures that the risk of contamination by raw materials or products with genetically modified organisms is minimized.
Audits and certification according to the "Bez GMO " Standard takes place throughout the whole chain, from the production of used seeds, cultivation of cereals, oil seeds and other raw materials, production of compound feed, transport, processing of food raw materials, processing of individual food products.
Unambiguous limits are set, determining whether the conditions for the production of “Bez GMO” food are met, and requirements for a preventive production management system are determined so as to prevent possible contamination of products. The requirements of the standard are not limited to producers of raw materials or food producers, but apply also to the traders and carriers who handle raw materials and products.
The demonstration of compliance with these set limits is ensured by sampling and analysis of feed and raw food materials, the input evaluations of products and their analysis to prove the absence of genetic modification in accordance with the legislative and with “Bez GMO” Standard requirements. The analyses are performed at the DNA level (e.g. Real time PCR method).
The “nonGMO” certified manufacturing companies benefit a certificate from the certification body, that no raw materials or products containing GMO, have been used. In case of products with increased risk of possible contamination, management procedures minimizing the risks are in place. The certified producers and organisations are regularly subject to independent audits by the recognised certification bodies. The supervision over the certification process of the "Bez GMO " Standard is performed by the Association for Feed and Commodities (SKK) by provided Integrity audits.
The “Bez GMO” Standard is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic and ÚKZÚZ (Central Institute for Supervising and Testing in Agriculture).