[Infographic] The 8 Sources of GMO Contamination


How can we assure that non-GMO is really non-GMO?
Prevention goes well beyond planting non-GMO seeds as contamination can occur at 8 major points within the food and feed supply chain.

The infographic below will shed some light on these.


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The 8 Sources of GMO Contamination

1. Seed purity

The 100 points of vulnerability during seed production make seed purity critical.

2. Sowing Machinery

GM seeds commingling in the seed drill can lead to contamination during sowing. A thorough cleaning is imperative.

3. Field contamination

Wind- or insect-borne cross pollination can contaminate the field. Isolation distances and buffer zones are key to overcoming this.

4. Harvesting Equipment

Sharing of machinery during harvest increases the possibilities of contamination.

5. Transportation

Risk of contamination increases with number of operators in the supply chain.

6. Storage

Elevators are one of the main sources of unintended impurities in supply chains. In the US, segregation costs were projected to be up to $10/t for commodities like corn and soy. (FoEE, 2009)

7. Mills

Switching from GMO to non-GMO milling requires a full facility cleaning followed by a 2 hour flushing. Even then, however, as much as 1% of GMO contamination can be detected.

8. Food & feed processors

Cross-contaminations at this stage occur frequently. GM avoidance requires additional staff training and a reliable and efficient raw material analysis.