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Open Letter to Natural Food Stores and Coops: Please Stop Selling Unlabeled Genetically Engineered and Factory-Farmed Foods

See the bottom of this article for an easy-to-print version of this letter.

Dear Grocery Store Manager,

As one of your regular retail customers, I want to thank you for providing a selection of healthy, sustainable, climate-friendly, fairly-traded, organically certified products in your store.

According to ongoing research by the Organic Consumers Association, only 4% of total sales in conventional grocery store sales are organic. Unfortunately, so-called "natural" foods are produced with pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and often contain genetically modified ingredients. "Natural" foods and products now make up 8% of all grocery store sales, and account for the majority of sales in most natural food stores. "Conventional" foods continue to dominate the grocery marketplace, with 88% of sales; these products undermine public health and contribute significantly to the destabilization of our environment.

As a citizen and consumer concerned about my family's health and the health of our planet, I feel strongly that I have an inalienable right to know where the food I purchase comes from, how it is grown, and what is in it. Up to 90% of U.S. soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, and sugar beets are now genetically engineered and routinely incorporated into non-organic human and animal foods with no labels or safety testing. As a consequence, approximately 80% of current non-organic grocery food items contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Currently, scientific studies suggesting the dangers of GMOs are staggering, and far outweigh studies suggesting their safety.

Considering the growing public health and environmental concerns over GMOs and Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), all food packaging should clearly identify processed foods or animal products carrying any level of non-organic soy, corn, cottonseed oil, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa or GM growth hormones with a label or shelf sign that says "May Contain GMOs" and identify all meat, dairy, and eggs that come from CAFOs, where the animals were confined and fed GMO grains, with a label or shelf sign that says "CAFO." In other words, unless a product is certified organic, or bears a certification seal from the Non-GMO Project, I want it to bear a sticker that says, "May Contain GMOs" or "CAFO."

Please join the growing group of ethical retailers and voluntarily adopt these Truth-in-Labeling practices. I ask you to inform your "natural" food vendors that you support the placement of "May Contain GMOs" stickers on their products. Please also inform your meat, dairy, and egg suppliers that non-organic products derived from animals reared on GMO grains or raised in intensive confinement will from now on bear stickers that say "CAFO."

Retailers adopting Truth-in-Labeling practices will stand out as ethical leaders in the marketplace, gaining new customers and increasing the loyalty of present customers. Retailers who claim to support mandatory labeling for GMO foods and yet refuse to label likely GMO-tainted products in their own stores will lose credibility, market share and customers. Please join the nation's organic consumers in our pledge to drive GMOs and CAFO foods out of the marketplace. The health of my family and yours depends on it.

Thank you again for providing safe, clean food for my family, and for your support of a healthier planet. I look forward to your response to this letter.


 (Your name here)

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