The background behind non-gmo lecithin

A new era in agriculture began in 1995 with the development of genetically modified soybeans in the United States. Since soy is used in animal feed and a large number of foods, an intensive discussion began in various countries to answer the questions: Are genetically modified foods still a “natural” product? Can they safely be used in food?
While the competent food safety authority in the United States equated conventional soy with genetically modified soy, a fierce debate began in Europe, triggered by Greenpeace and the media. As a result, the EU Commission passed various regulations – which are still in place today – concerning genetically modified foods.

The labeling of genetically modified foods in the EU was introduced in 1997. The new legislation made it mandatory to label GM foods if genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) could be detected in the end product.

To pave the way for free movement of safe and healthy food and feed, the EU adopted two more regulations in 2003: Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed; and Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003 concerning the traceability and labeling of GMOs.

In principle, these regulations determine the consumers’ right to choose between the purchasing of GMO and non-GMO products. Since conventional and genetically modified soy are grown side by side on arable land, there is a tolerable GMO cross-contamination determined by a threshold value. The current regulation stipulates that all food and feed with GMO amounts over 0.9% must be labeled as GMO’s. Products containing less than 0.9% genetically modified ingredients are not subject to the labeling requirements if it can be demonstrated that the contamination is adventitious or technically inevitable.

GMO-Logo GMO contamination can be caused by pollen, but can also occur in the logistics chain of transport routes and silos. The regulation differentiates whether the soy product is used directly in food or in animal feed. Genetically modified soy put into animal feed must also be labeled if the level is over 0.9%. Once consumed by the animals, no more labeling of GMO takes place. This applies not only to meat, but also to milk and eggs. This regulation is still controversial. An EU regulation in 2011 is also controversial that permits the non-approved GMO ingredients in feed up to a "technical zero tolerance" of 0.1%, while the absolute zero tolerance for non-approved GMO plants in food still applies.

The traceability and documentation of genetically modified organisms for the manufacture of foods is controlled in Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003. If GMO’s are used, the origin and whereabouts of the products used throughout the manufacturing process must be documented. The receipt and delivery of GMO products are documented, and traders must keep all details for five years.
The identification process of GMO products is based on this system of traceability. At the same time, it seeks to ensure that GMO products can be recalled when they demonstrate adverse environmental or health effects after the release onto the market.