Global Organic Textile Standards, the Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA), and Textile Exchange are pleased to announce the renewal of the global ISO IWA 32:2019 proficiency test for a second year in a row, under technical support from Wageningen Food Safety Research.

The initiative aims to provide the sector with an up-to-date overview of global labs that can currently conduct GMO testing as per the ISO IWA 32:2019 protocol – a common language among laboratories worldwide to screen for the potential presence of genetically modified (GM) cotton along the organic cotton value chain.

The joint project involving three global NGOs in the textile sector, announces that it has reached a new milestone with an expanded list of twenty-one laboratories from Europe, Asia, and North America who they confirm have successfully passed a new round of the proficiency test in 2021.

As qualitative GM cotton screening using the ISO IWA 32:2019 protocol is mandatory within the GOTS and OCS (Organic Content Standard) supply chain and OCA’s Farm Programme, the expanded list will provide many stakeholders in Organic Cotton with the clarity they need for taking all reasonable precautions to prevent GM cotton in their organic cotton produce while supporting the rapid sector growth seen globally.

The updated overview of the laboratories that successfully passed the proficiency test in 2021 has now been jointly published by GOTS, OCA, and Textile Exchange.

Click to view the latest list of labs that passed the ISO IWA32 2019 Proficiency Test in 2021.

Commenting on the second round of the global ISO IWA 32:2019 proficiency test initiative, Mathilde Tournebize, OCA’s Programme Manager said: 

“At OCA, we believe that by working collaboratively we can make the necessary strides to bring the organic cotton sector improved transparency and integrity, so it is great to see more laboratories implementing the ISO IWA 32:2019 worldwide. This round of proficiency tests enabled us to chart additional laboratories that can be contacted to reliably conduct GMO tests as per the ISO IWA 32:2019. The initiative has also expanded to more geographies compared to last year, including Turkey and the United States.”

Rahul Bhajekar, Managing Director at GOTS, added: 

“This initiative shows that through partnership and alignment, we can bring the sector much-needed clarity on qualitative GMO testing in cottonseed, leaf, fibre, and chemically unprocessed fibre-derived cotton.”

Amish Gosai, Supply Network & South Asia Sr. Manager at Textile Exchange, said: 

“The ISO IWA 32:2019 proficiency test initiative will be repeated regularly. More laboratories are welcome to apply for the next round of proficiency tests, which will likely be organised in Q1 2023”

The initiative, now in its second year, will drive greater transparency along the organic cotton supply chain in a move that the partners hope will become a fixed bi-annual initiative stemming from the positive feedback from the initial launch in 2020.

Are you a GM cotton testing laboratory that implemented the ISO IWA 32:2019 reference protocol and are you interested in joining the next round of proficiency tests in Q1 2023? Do you have any questions about the global ISO IWA 32:2019 proficiency test initiative? Or would you like to update your contact details? Please contact Mathilde Tournebize with your query by email.