Non-GMO vs. Organic: What’s the Difference?

Chosen Team

Health conscious consumers today face a dilemma. Do you choose the package labeled Non-GMO Project Verified or USDA Organic? Which is better? What is the difference? Is there a difference?

Don’t fret. We’re here to explain all the jargon and the labels so you can make the most informed choice for you and your family.


Certified Organic

In order to qualify for the Certified Organic or USDA Organic labels, no more than 5% of a product’s makeup is permitted to be non-organic. All ingredients (including the “non-organic” 5%) must be on the USDA’s list of products permissible to be included in organic-certified foods. This list does not generally permit GMOs, but there are certain exceptions, such as cornstarch and soy lecithin, permitted only when organic alternatives are not available.

With organic products, there is also the chance that GMO contamination may have occurred naturally, through cross-pollination or wind-borne seeds. While an organic label should mean a product is free from GMOs, it is not guaranteed. 

Non-GMO Project Verified Meaning

The Non-GMO label means that the ingredients have been verified by the Non-GMO Project not to contain genetically modified material. This verification happens by testing the ingredients during processing, and by spot-checking different points in the supply chain to ensure the GMO-free status of large quantities of material.

Producers are subject to yearly inspections to verify their continued compliance with Non-GMO Project standards. Guidelines are in place to ensure that the raw materials used in the production of the final product are kept in a way that eliminates the possibility of cross-contamination.

A Non-GMO label prohibits the use of certain herbicides that contain GMOs but it does not stipulate that “Non-GMO” products must be grown organically. They may be grown using conventional, non-organic methods.


While Organic and Non-GMO are not the same, they both guarantee certain standards are followed. If you’re seeking to avoid GMOs, look for the butterfly on packaging that indicates Non-GMO Project verification.

At Chosen Foods, we are committed to never using herbicides or pesticides and our entire line of products is Non-GMO Project Verified.