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Organic Consumers Association

Whole Foods Admits Selling GMOs - Tell Them Where They Can Stick It (the "May Contain GMOs" Label, That Is)

  • By Alexis Baden-Mayer, Esq., Political Director
    Organic Consumers Association, February 2, 2011

Angry consumers have been sending letters to Whole Foods Market, asking them why they accepted the USDA's specious proposal for "coexistence" between organic and GMOs and why they don't do more to protect and inform consumers about the (non-organic) food they sell that contains GMOs. Here's Whole Foods' response:
  • The reality is that no grocery store in the United States, no matter what size or type of business, can claim they are GMO-free. While we have been and will continue to be staunch supporters of non-GMO foods, we are not going to mislead our customers with an inaccurate claim (and you should question anyone who does). Here’s why: the pervasive planting of GMO crops in the U.S. and their subsequent use in our national food supply.  93% of soy, 86% of corn, 93% of cotton, and 93% of canola seed planted in the U.S. in 2010 were genetically engineered. Since these crops are commonly present in a wide variety of foods, a GMO-free store is currently not possible in the U.S. (Unless the store sells only organic foods.)
  • Since the U. S. national organic standards do not allow the use of GMO ingredients and practices in the growing or production of organic foods, choosing organic is one way consumers can avoid GMO foods. The other is through labeling, of which we are strong supporters.
If Whole Foods really is a "strong supporter" of mandatory GMO labels, they should lead by example. Please consider sending the following note to Whole Foods:
  • In your recent letter to consumers, you admit that Whole Foods Market sells food that contains GMOs, but you also claim you support labeling.
  • I challenge you to put your money where your mouth is and make Whole Foods Market the first grocery store to label your GMO foods, including foods from animals fed GMOs in factory farms.
  • You can't provide consumers a choice if you don't tell them the truth.
Click here to send the letter (you can modify it if you like). And please join Organic Consumers Association in showing Whole Foods where they can stick it:

TAKE ACTION: Show Whole Foods Where They Can Stick It!

Step #1: Get the Non-GMO Shopping Guide

Step #2: Check the non-organic foods at Whole Foods Market.

Step #3: Scan the ingredients labels for the at-risk ingredients you learned about in the Non-GMO Shopping Guide.

Step #4: When you find a food that likely contains GMO ingredients, stick a Millions Against Monsanto campaign "Oh No! Is it GMO?" label on it & take a picture. If it is an ingredient that comes from animals, include an "Animals harmed? From a factory farm?" sticker.

Step #5: Put your picture on your computer. When you send your letter to Whole Foods, scroll to the bottom of the page, and upload your photo to send along with your letter. There's box where you can include a caption for the photo.

Step #6: Check for your photo, along with the caption and a link to the alert (but no personal information) in our activist photo album.

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