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Need to Know: House Bill Could Affect GMO Labeling

A recent poll revealed that 90 percent of American consumers want labeling transparency for all products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Whole Foods Market supports that right to transparency and has taken active steps to honor our customers’ right to know, culminating in a commitment to GMO labeling transparency in our stores by 2018. We have been working diligently with our suppliers to collectively achieve that goal since it was announced in 2013.

Given our clear stance in support of GMO labeling transparency, we felt it important to advise our shoppers that legislation currently expected to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives this week would have real implications for shoppers who – for whatever reason – want to know which products on our shelves contain GMOs, and which products do not.

If passed, HR 1599 (the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015) would essentially prevent any federal or state authority from being able to require the labeling of foods that contain GMOs. In turn, it may seriously inhibit Whole Foods Market’ ability to deliver on our commitment to GMO labeling transparency in our stores including the efforts of many of our supplier partners, who we’ve been collaborating with to source more organic products and non-GMO verified ingredients for the past several years.   We do not support this bill and encourage consumers who want GMO labeling transparency to visit justlabelit.org to find out more information and share your concerns with the FDA and Congress.

We urge elected officials to listen to Americans’ very loud and clear desire for GMO transparency, and vote accordingly.

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Michael Billings says …

GMO foods have not one (1) scientific paper showing it poses a risk to Humans. People like you (liberals) like you start a panic and throw things against a wall to see what sticks. You have been selling GMO foods daily and have no idea do you? Corn has been GMO for decades. True corn is about 3-4 inches long. It has been genetically modified to get what we have today. The United States and many other countries would starve without the great Science that introduced GMO foods. Do you ever wonder why you can have winter vegetable's in the middle of Summer /vise versa? lets say this certain weevil does not like the taste of spinach so it attacks carrots instead. We now take that gene from the spinach that makes it taste bad to the weevil and splice it to the carrot. The weevil will not eat the carrots now and that makes the farmer use less pesticide to control the insects. I really think you people need to be more educated on the topic before you start making commits... JUST SAYING! Michael

Haley Richardson says …

Great article and truly informative! I have not read in the news about the new bill and was unaware of it in general. Thanks for keeping us updated!

Andrea S says …

90% of Americans have no idea why they are anti-GMO. Whole Foods should take a leadership role to educate your customers as to why anti-GMOism is a ridiculous, scientifically unsupportable cause that is ONLY spread by fear-mongering, conspiracy-theorizing, illogical rhetoric and emotional pandering, which is EXACTLY why the anti-vaccine terrorists gained such traction that we are seeing previously eradicated diseases now reappearing among our nation's children. Prove to me that GMOs are harmful with non-discredited research findings. Because I can't find any. And all I've read points to GMOs as a means to grow crops with disease- pest- and drought-resistant properties, fortified with critical yet otherwise absent nutrients and that can be instrumental in preventing disease, starvation, malnutrition, and economic ruin for whole populations. Eh, Whole Foods? What's it going to be? Kowtowing to the lowest common denominator of a paranoid and ignorant populace by adopting the latest marketing fad? Or providing real public education in the form of scientific facts?

Suzanne says …

More important than GMO labelling (which is an attempt to label an industrial process), is the putting of the names of all pesticide, herbiside, and GMO-byproduct residues on all products... It isn't the GMO, per se, that is injuring us all, it is the chemical residues that GMO is designed to leave on our food, that is adulterating the food chain and environment.