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St. Louis Groups Ask: Why is Whole Foods Market Mislabeling GMO Foods as "Natural"

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's The Myth of Natural page, Millions Against Monsanto page, and our Missouri News page.

St. Louis area residents are stepping into the growing debate over labeling of genetically modified foods.

On Saturday, the Gateway Green Alliance and Safe Food Action St. Louis plan to protest in front of the Whole Foods Market in Brentwood, asking the chain to "stop claiming that it labels GMO foods when it does not do so." The groups are also asking for the store's management to respond to their requests for communication, which they say has not happened.

Whole Foods Market is a premier purveyor of organic foods, which by law cannot contain genetically modified ingredients. The store's in-house brand is certified "non-GMO" through a third-party certifier called the Non-GMO Project.

"We do it the opposite way," said Kate Klotz, a spokesperson for Whole Foods. " We label things that are free of GMOs because of the prevalence of GMOs in the food supply."

Federal law does not require food manufacturers to label food containing genetically modified ingredients, so any product, in any store - from soy lecithin to corn syrup - can come from genetically modified crops. (The primary genetically modified food crops are corn, soy and canola.

Only a few produce items, including papaya and some squashes, are genetically modified and commercially available.) Some estimates say that roughly 70 to 80 percent of products in a typical grocery store contain genetically modified ingredients.