On 27 May 2008, the German legislature passed a bill proposed by the BMEL's predecessor, BMELV, containing a national regulation for food products to be labeled as “Ohne Gentechnik”. Its abbreviated, yet unpronounceable, title is EGGenTDurchfG. For reasons of simplicity, we will refer to it as “the OG act”.
Article 3a of this rather concise document contains criteria that are prerequisite for “Ohne Gentechnik” labeling. Anyone who meets the criteria may market GMO-free food products by simply using the words “Ohne Gentechnik” on the packaging. However, if the manufacturer (or brand owner) wishes to use the standardized “Ohne GenTechnik” seal, they will have to apply to VLOG for a license.
VLOG has a verification procedure that will help applicants comply with the OG act. One method that will greatly simplify this process is to become certified against the OG Standard, which is also available in an English version.
What makes this standard so unique and highly valuable to operators is that it is the result of a process initiated originally by a coalition of Bavarian state authorities, industry associations and surveillance agencies. They, in turn, inspired major retailers to throw in their support. In this process, along with quality experts and VLOG representatives, representatives from the entire supply chain, from raw materials importer to animal producer and dairy marketer, sat together for months. The end product was a document regarding GMO-free animal production that correctly reflects the law and which everyone involved in the process was happy to sign up to.
In its structure, the OG act refers to EU Regulations (EC) Nos. 1829/2003 and 1830/2003 for definitions. Thus the official definitions of the EU Commission’s SCoFCAH (Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health) on thresholds and the condition of their applicability has become part of VLOG’s OG Standard.