This has been a long journey, one that started for us six years ago, and which we are pleased to say is now complete. When the Non-GMO Project first asked us to provide support in developing standards for seed production, we knew we would push for the most stringent standards possible. We've always been certified organic, but with so many new GM (genetically modified) crops on the market, we knew we had to do more to protect the integrity of our seeds. So we began the process of Non-GMO Project Verification. What are GMOs? Genetically modified organisms (or GMOs) are varieties that have been created by adding genetic material from one species into the DNA sequence of another species that would not normally exist. The result of genetic modification by laboratory methods is a combination of genetic materials that could never occur naturally. This is unlike traditional breeding, wherein pollen is moved between closely-related plants. Traditional plant breeders carry pollen from one plant to another by hand or with the help of insects to produce controlled crosses of two individuals. If your seeds are organic, why verify? GMOs are not allowed in certified organic production and we have never sol GM seeds. As new GM crops are grown experimentally or released to the general public, however, there is an increased risk of GM crops cross-pollinating organic crops and resulting in seeds with GM contamination; we verified our seeds as part of our process to mitigate these risks. Through a combination of testing of stock seed, field isolation and inspection and harvesting and handling policies we focus on prevention of GMO contamination in our seed. All seed lots of corn, summer squash, soybeans and alfalfa are also tested to confirm that our preventative measures are working, and no contaminated seed lots will ever be sold. Our policy is only seed lots with a zero detectable level in 10,000 seeds will ever be sold. This standard exceeds what is otherwise required by the Non-GMO Project because we know our customers care deeply about High Mowing's exceptional quality. Our germination and organic standards are similarly higher than what is required, for the same reason. We are applying the same standards of prevention to all of our seed crops and closely monitoring ongoing risks of GMO contamination. Additionally, we are increasing our testing of other crops to ensure that they are also non-GMO and all policies are reviewed and strengthened on an annual basis. The Non-GMO Project is a third-party voluntary labeling system that helps companies develop procedures and testing protocols to avoid GMOs in their products. The Project has the highest standards in the US and not only examines the full supply chain but also facilitates testing for the presence of GMOs to validate the effectiveness of GM-avoidance procedures. Safe, healthy seeds for the future It has always been our goal to provide seeds that are safe and healthy for people and the planet. We believe that consumers have a right to know what's in their food and should be able to make informed decisions based on accurate labeling of food and the seeds used to produce food. To that end, we want to give our customers complete confidence that our seeds are tested and verified non-GMO. For us, it is also about protecting genetic resources so that they can be utilized by future generations for traditional breeding. As one of the founding companies and a primary supporter of the organic seed industry, we feel it is our responsibility to raise the bar for all seed. At a time when GM crops are entering our food supply and wild ecosystems, it is more important than ever to preserve the purity of our seed resources. We are not willing to take any chances with our seeds - and we know you aren't either. Providing our customers with an additional layer of safeguards against GMO-contaminated seeds helps ensure the future we want to see. An organic, non-GMO food supply should, after all, begin with organic, non-GMO seeds.