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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

GMO/Monsanto Buyout Rumors Untrue

Stop the insanity! I help with customer inquiries here at Whole Foods Market and we’ve been hearing some wild, off-base stories from folks around the country lately.

For brevity’s sake, I’m going to list them here in hopes of dispelling these rumors.

Rumor No. 1: Whole Foods Market has been bought by Monsanto. No! What crazy talk! We’ve never had any affiliation with that company. We are publicly traded; our majority shareholders are listed in documents filed with the SEC and, I promise, Monsanto is not on the list and never has been.

Rumor No. 2: Whole Foods Market made a secret deal with Monsanto to support the deregulation of GMO crops like alfalfa. Again, no way! This ridiculous rumor started over a year ago in January 2011 because of the Organic Consumer Association’s (OCA) misleading article titled “Whole Foods Caves to Monsanto.”

You see, Whole Foods Market and others in the organic food industry met with the US Secretary of Agriculture in support of farmers’ rights to grow Non-GMO crops

Because we did not take the exact hard-line stance that the OCA did, they accused us of “being in bed with Monsanto,” and the rumor developed from there. Whole Foods Market has no ties to Monsanto and did not have any interaction with the company concerning this or any other issue. For a good description of what really happened, here’s a solid Washington Post story.

You can also read our blog response from last year.

Rumor No. 3: Whole Foods Market recently decided to start selling food with GMOs. Wrong again! As long as GMO crops have been in this country, GMOs have been in the US food supply. The most effective action we can take now is to label the food that DOESN’T include GMOs. That’s why we’ve enrolled our 365 Everyday Value and 365 Organic product line in the Non-GMO Project Verification Program, and have encouraged our branded vendors to do the same – and many, many have.

If you want to avoid GMOs, here’s what to look for in our stores:

  • Organic products, since USDA organic standards prohibit the use of GMO ingredients.
  • Our 365 Everyday Value and 365 Organic store brand food products are sourced to avoid GMO ingredients and many have been verified under the Non-GMO Project verification program. You can find a list of verified products on each of our store web pages.
  • Products labeled with the Non-GMO Project Verified label. For a shopping list of Non-GMO Project Verified products carried by your local store, check your store’s webpage or review brands and products on the Non-GMO project website.

Thanks for reading and now back to your regularly scheduled shopping.

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468 comments

Comments

breej says …

i dont think stating what you DIDNT do is hiding what you DID do. im so dissapointed at the research i have come across. WFM DIDNT 'sell out' to Monsanto, but they DID bargain with them. "Because we did not take the exact hard-line stance that the OCA did, they accused us of “being in bed with Monsanto,” and the rumor developed from there." Not taking a 'hard-line stance' against GMOs is the same thing as accepting them. Do people not understand that? WFM is supposed to be about WHOLE foods and defending the organic farms.... WFM is no better than Monsanto- they didnt stand up to them, they caved and bargained, hell they even sale monsantos products right in there store without a label!!! I will no longer be a whole foods shopper :(

Amy says …

You should have said NO to GMOs, just like the Organic Consumer Association. "According to Whole Foods, the USDA presented the industry with two options: total deregulation of Genetically Engineered alfalfa, or deregulation with some conditions to facilitate coexistence and protection of non-GE farmers. Wholefoods reluctantly opted for the latter." There is no coexistance between gm and nature. GM will wipe out our native alfalfa. See you at the protest.

Ralph says …

If the certified organic logo indicates that product is non-GMO, why the Non-GMO Verified program? If you look at the non-GMO Verified website, they automatically will enroll a certified organic product (if they pay the fees) because the Non-GMO Verified folks know that all certified organic products are non-GMO. It is worrisome that some products are in the Non-GMO Verified program but do not carry the certified organic logo. This seems like a smokescreen where consumers are being mislead that Non-GMO Verified is somehow better than certified organic, when the fact is that in some cases products are in the non-GMO verified program that are not organically grown. This seems like an attempt to fool people into thinking that non-GMO verified is better than certified organic when in many cases it is not as good as certified organic.

D Elle says …

An acknowledgement is due for participating in the "Non-GMO Project", however WF hasn't "stood up" for anything, it is still selling products containing GMO. While GMOs have been thrown out of China and now the UK with India joining the conglomerate of nations directly opposed to the agricultural corruption brought Monsanto, taking legal action against Monsanto for a crime of ‘biopiracy‘. Peru even passed a 10 year ban on GM foods. Outside the US opposition to GMO has Monsanto looking to liquidate their facilities in Germany, France, and the Czech Republic. If WF really cared about the health of it's customers, it would really "take a stand". If all these other countries can successfully remove GMO, what about America? Does it have something to do with the fact that so many Monsanto employees are at the heart of the U.S. government? "Taking a stand" means "taking a stand", refusing to condone it, refusing to sell it, again, labeling is something, but does nothing to eradicate it, but simply, continues the selling of it to the public.. with a label.

Melanie says …

It is a wonder to me that you, WFM, doesn't cry a little harder in the public square to make this known. The fact that you do carry any GMO foods at all is enough for me to stay out of your stores. If you sell any, you are promoting GMO. Eventually they will contaminate the whole food supply, not to mention the ecosystem at large! This small blurb on your webpage doesn't answer all the questions. You may not have been bought by Monsanto, but that still doesn't tell us that your owners don't have anything to do with Monsanto. That seems to be the issue.

Bob says …

Every store should have the Non-GMO Project Verified labels on all the shelves. Some stores have them up, but most don't!!

Assunta Swier says …

THANK YOU WHOLE FOODS!!

Ruth says …

Thanks for the info. I wish that shopping at Whole Foods could guarantee non-GMO, but I know that diligence is part of my job as I provide for my family.

Laura says …

Thank goodness!! Thank you for posting this.. I almost cried when my boyfriend passed on a rumor regarding Whole Foods and the devil company..

JON says …

Thanks for clarifying this up.

lee says …

but you are trading on the stockmarket, anytime monasanto decides to own you, it can.

GD says …

You proved the point - that you favor or fear Monsanto, by not fighting harder. This is why they have taken over countries, and muscled their way in when clearly people do not want their food - no one is fighting hard enough. We expect you TOO FIGHT for our food freedom with everything you have. Or why buy from you. You have made billions off of our trust that you sell healthy tested food, so if you back off from a fight - what can you expect. Lack of trust. This example is true of the organics industry in many arenas. We pay higher prices because we believe someone cares & is monitoring. If not, we will go somewhere else in droves. By the way, NO ONE is monitoring the amount of radiation in our food. It is complete negligence and at some point people will hold them accountable.

Laurel Simmons says …

It seems to me the emphasis on the Monsanto rumor just deflects attention the larger concern. Whole Foods holds itself to be a force for improving the US food system. Its unwillingness to take an unequivocal stand and use its size as a force for real change is a huge dissapointment. What options do most people have to make truly informed choices if we can't trust WF to help us? I remember years ago feeling reassured by WF when they educated me about why they didn't use cottonseed oil. I thought, 'great, they're looking out for me.' I feel really let down.

Vanessa says …

Agree with.... YES!! Makes total sense. Renaldoo: Just LABEL THE PRODUCTS YOU PRODUCE THAT CONTAIN GMOs. Quit hiding behind all green paint. February 2nd, 2012 at 9:07 am

NotConvinced says …

I would like to say that I have TOTAL confidence in WF, but I don't. Unfortunately WF's has become part of the defiled corporate conglomerate world just like all of the other BIG BIZ the rest of us 99%ers are fighting. Heck they are are probably big enough now they could elect someone into office using the Citizen's United decision made possible by our Supreme Court "Justices". Don't let anyone fool you, these new "life forms" the Supreme Court has deemed as "human", aka Corporations rub elbows in the men's rooms, cigar rooms, golf courses and anywhere else they don't think anyone is looking...all at the expense of our hard-earned cash and the insurance we pay for and don't get to use and our health that is slowly, but surely degrading away even as our minds are also being brainwashed into believing the good guy is bad and the evil is our savior. (Yeah, I know...my post will be trashed along with my health from consuming Monsanto's GMO foods.)

HealthyDoc says …

In an effort to help ourselves, let’s look to the source of this GMO-warfare. We've got 6 former Monsanto execs now, thanks to our President, running with the others in the FDA. Obama has left the "whether it's safe to use GMO's up to the companies that make them". He doesn't want to be responsible for our welfare by not having the FDA do its job. Why? Because he put the Monsanto guys in there along with the 2 Bush put in. Our whole country is subjected to the ills of GMO's in our food supply. Corn and soy are the biggest offenders and all of the by-products from these crops. We've known in the ND and holistic community that GMO's are what "Celiac" folks and gluten-sensitive patients are reacting to. When exposed to those same grains in Europe where their foods are organic, no gluten-sensitivity. This is consistent with why US folks have the problems. GMO's react with the tissues in our intestines in ways that can never be corrected. These genetically inserted organisms are designed to kill their offenders, bugs (living organisms). When we consume them we also have tissue death and toxicity from them. Note- the medical community just announced that they've added gluten-sensitivity as a diagnosis consistent with celiac disease. That's great and all but without the connection being made between gluten-sensitive people and the GMO as root cause, we're never going to get this corrected. As with everything else, there's big money in treating illness. Our government (both parties) is tied up in the big business of Pharma-Corp-$-Govt-expense-of-the-people cycle. There's never going to be any help, unless it's grass-roots. Obama is trying to create a Healthcare initiative but won't hold the FDA accountable; he's perpetuating the whole demise. Don't think for a second, he doesn't know what he's doing. Put the pressure on from the top (Pres) and perhaps we'll get some resolve. As for WFM, do the best you can to buy labeled products with Non-GMO. It is unfortunate that they won't get on board with a large-scale refusal to carry GMO foods but when they're backed by the same big money as the Monsanto folks, they don't have to. Just be informed and make food choices and where you spend your money from an informed perspective. Support your local organic growers for produce when you can.

Noelle says …

The one thing that will make sure we have the choice of purchasing products with or without GMO's, is a mandatory GMO label on all food products. Everyone eats and everyone has the right to know what is in our food. This is one area where the people have a lot of power in their voice for a very basic right. Google ewg gmo petition. WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT WE ARE EATING.

John says …

If you want GMOs to be labeled. I encourage you to sign this petition. http://justlabelit.org/

Jen mom says …

Not much of a going along with the crowd person. I believe Whole Foods can do more. I have chosen to spend a considerable portion of my food budget at your store. I would love to be able to shop there and not have to worry about GMO products polluting my shopping experience. Realize as your customers become more educated about natural foods and organics we are going to place more demands on you as a store. You have an opportunity to hear your customers or perhaps someone else will and there will be a new niche market of stores that strictly regulate Gmo's in their stores and you will lose out. Your great success is on the shoulders of the many customers who have chosen to support you with our hard earned dollars. Please hear our voices and at least label things that include GMO's so we aren't forced to read every label. It will surely add a great value to your customers and perhaps give you much positive publicity for choosing to hear your customers.

Anon says …

Did no one else notice the obvious contradiction here? "Rumor No. 3: Whole Foods Market recently decided to start selling food with GMOs. Wrong again!" ... "The most effective action we can take now is to label the food that DOESN’T include GMOs. If you want to avoid GMOs, here’s what to look for in our stores" So do you sell it or not?! Obviously you do, or you wouldn't have to label it or look out for it in your store!

Shelby says …

Dear Whole Foods Monopoly, In your rant here in this blog, you still neglected to answer the real questions; Do you or do you not carry Monsanto produce? Do you or do you not label products and produce as organic - yet these "organic" things come from China? Can you answer these questions directly, without insinuating that the people accusing your establishment of being a farce are the crazy one's?

says …

@Shelby We do carry products that are non-organic and the only item we organically source from China are the 365 Organic Edamame.

Rick London says …

Nice article but as I read it closer I could see the Washington-like spin. You do INDEED sell GMO-foods, but customers now have to look at the labels to make sure they are not getting them. Most of us neither have the time and us older ones the eyesight to do so. That is why we, for years, went to Whole Foods and paid a bit more so we wouldn't have to as we do at the regular grocery. You encourage your vendors to go GMO? Oh please. Why not just not carry GMO foods. Oh oh, don't explain...big profits..... This is ludicrous. Not too unlike the USA Certified foods you carry...grown in China. You've really lost your way. Kroger is healthier, frankly. Your sincere ex customer, Rick

House of Numbers says …

Shopping at Whole Foods is little different from shopping at other grocery stores. Reading packaging labels is like navigating a minefield of booby traps. For me, the pleasant experience are the nice people who work at WF and the friendly atmosphere. At least most shoppers perceive they are buying healthy, though sadly it's often quite the opposite. Please support mandatory GMO labeling for our children's sake.

Armando S. says …

Dear WFM: As I know that these rumors have been squashed by your blogs, it has still left bad PR in the "organic" community. My advice to you is to reach out to members of that community in ways of better outreach (news articles, magazine prints, etc), so that they are informed. As a valued member of that community I fully understand the harmful nature of GMO crops and their creator Monsanto, but the rest of Americans are uneducated about this. I, and the rest of the community truly want to stand with you in the fight against selling GMO products. From a business standpoint, I understand that this is rather difficult and/or near impractical but keep in mind that people who shop at WFM stay loyal for the purposes that you promote organic, and local farms. By simply becoming the next "big" grocery chain only destroys your public image within the community, and therefore will cause you to lose loyal clients.

says …

@Armando I reached out to the post's author, Libba Letton, regarding your comment/suggestion. Here is her response. "Thanks for the feedback! We are working to get the message out to all our shoppers that at Whole Foods Market, our goal is to provide informed consumer choice about genetically engineered ingredients. We’ve done more than any other national retailer that we know of on this front. If shoppers want avoid GMOs, here are ways they can do so in our stores: •Try any of our 365 products as they are sourced to avoid GMOs. •Choose organic products, since USDA organic standards prohibit the use of GE ingredients •Look for the Non-GMO Project’s seal of verification on products in our stores. •We are working with our vendor partners every day to add more to our shelves. Each of our stores’ web pages has a shopping list of Non-GMO Project verified products carried in that store. (www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores) We believe the fastest route to transparency is through certified organic products and products verified under the Non-GMO Project’s verification and labeling program so we are focusing our efforts on increasing our offerings on this front."

Armando S. says …

@Jane Johnson: Thank you so much for forwarding my response to the author, I truly appreciate my message taking notice. @ Libba Letton: It means so much to me and the rest of the community that our voices are at least heard and acknowledged. My last advice would be to have a direct link to this information on your homepage. It would be great PR, and would also help to relinquish these rumors. This information is not so easily accessible on your website, and I believe that your response is what the concerned consumer needs to read. Armando S.

Elisabeth Rose says …

Whole Foods needs to stop using canola oil in all their prepared foods, pizza and salad bar, for starters. They can use other high-heat, non GMO oils, like organic Safflower oil, for their cooking, and olive oil or other oils for their cold, salad bar preparations. They shouldn't be selling gelato made from an outside source unless they know it is gelato made with real cane sugar, rather than sugar cut w/ 50% GMO beet sugar. They have to stop lying to people at their stores, where on more than one occasion folks working there have told me they don't have GMOs in their ingredients! Most importantly, they have to stop pretending to be about healthy eating unless they are going to fight back against the big companies and go all the way. Either Whole Foods is really about "whole" foods, or is just another huge food store, like Stop & Shop, etc.

Brenda Jewell says …

What about the current allegations that some of your organic foods are imported from China. Have you adequately investigated what the term organic means in China?

says …

@Brenda You can find the most up to date information regarding our organic sourcing from china at the below links. http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/whole-foods-market-responds-to-wjla/ http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/sourcing.php http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2008/06/inside-scoop-organics-from-china/

Earth Cannibal says …

As always, most people here are avoiding the solution to this problem: self-sufficiency. If you choose to live in urban population centers, accept the fact that you will have to rely on systems out of your control to survive. If you want to ensure products are not tainted to your disliking, make them yourself...there are plenty of urban farming methods out there and plenty of open land between the coasts we all love some much. Just saying...

Brian says …

Approximately 2/3 of the products sold by Whole Foods Market and their main distributor, United Natural Foods (UNFI) are not certified organic, but rather are conventional (chemical-intensive and GMO-tainted) foods and products disguised as “natural.”If WFM had any integity or moxy it would go completely organic,but it won't coz they too are part of the vampiric process.

John Leclerc says …

Part of the original appeal of WF and health food stores is that you didn't have to score every ingredient label because it wastes time and effort. Originally you could trust the products offered. Now you can't, but there is a major alternative. Unlike the 365 brand, a very high percentage of products at Trader Joe's carry their private label, and TJ's has been auditing for and eliminating GMO ingredients in them since 2001. TJ's claim their brand name products are GMO free even when not organic. They also claim most of their seafood (frozen, canned, etc) is from sustainable sources approved by seafood watch, and it will all be by late 2012.

franklin says …

Yes, Whole Foods Market sells some products that contain GMO's. Because GMO's have tainted food crops all over the world and it is impossible to know what does and does not have in it, unless consistently tested! So until food containing GMO's are properly labeled and food companies test their OWN products for GMO's then it is uncertain just how much of the products have GMO's in them. WF carries most of the same products that I find at my local co-op. So I can also assume that most natural food stores unknowingly carry GMO tainted foods. If these products were properly labeled then we wouldn't find them in ANY health food store. I find it ridiculous that people expect a GROCERY STORE to do their fighting for them. GD why aren't you fighting for your own "food freedom" ? All this talk about "expecting more from a natural food store" is great in theory. But what about pressuring the people who actually MAKE the food, not distribute it. It's great to see everyones passion about this issue but how about we direct it towards the core source instead of taking the easy way out and expecting a retail chain health food store to fight this battle for us.

JT says …

So why is WF not supporting the CA initiative to label GMO food? WF should be donating big bucks to the cause, but isn't. Why?

AreYouKiddingMe says …

Are you guys kidding me? John Mackey (CEO of Whole Foods) is a climate change denying libertarian. He admires Ayn Rand (who admired serial killers). Libertarians are known for their primitive views of free-market capitalism. They essentially want everything to be deregulated and to have corporations run the gov't (basically like it is today). Although I'm guilty of shopping here myself, I started going to local organic markets. The more money you give these corporate swindlers, the more power they have. What will you do when there is nowhere to shop but Whole Foods, Safeway, CVS, and Giant?

Sally_Oh says …

People, stop whining, use your brains and the information you have and make an informed decision. Read the labels. If it doesn't say "non-GMO", it's got GMOs in it. Move on. The fact is WF has done more for the non-GMO movement than any other grocery store BY FAR. I'm sure it's cost them money to do so. If you want the non-GMO movement to continue and expand, support every effort out there! The only way to hurt Monsanto is via its pocketbook. Boycott GMOs and patronize the stores that are working to help us make informed decisions. Is WF only doing this for the money? WHO CARES? I work for a living, too.

Warofthewords says …

Unfortunately reporters and writers often run with stories before checking them out, or worse—they don't care about accuracy, they just want to create controversy which gets viewers and readers. When the damage is done it takes a lot of hard work (and wasted time) to put it right. I shop at Whole Foods and really like the store. The employees that I see appear to be happy. They're sure friendly enough. So they get my vote of confidence and my dollar, until I've got proof that something is really wrong. And you'll know something's up when the lines start to shrink. Until then—Happy Passover and Happy Easter.

Nancy says …

Instead of providing a list of products not containing GMO's, can you please just post your list of the foods that do, it would save me a whole lot of hassle. Thanks!

SEO Consultant Shane Hunter says …

This is good to see these rumors squashed. I love whole foods, and have frequented the new location in Encinitas, CA at least once a week since it opened! These rumors scared me, but now I can tell people the t

YouDecide says …

Dear WF you want to take a stronger stand against Monsanto and the likes, as well as a stronger and definite stand in labeling ALL your Products in a clear way. Banning out any "linguistic" game and misleading term... The reason why is very simple.. Or you stand or we leave your stores..! --WHAT'S BETTER?

OCA is a Fraud says …

The OCA(Organic Consumers Association) is in bed with Monsanto. They are funded by their Merck and Rockefeller buddies. Do not support them. Those who attack Whole Foods with these kind of ridiculous accusations are probably in bed with Monsanto. Whole Foods is Monsanto's largest competition, so it isn't surprising to see so many trolls(like "Areyoukiddingme" trying to put WF in the same basket with CVS and freaking Safeway) here trying to give them a bad reputation. Or Shelby, who calls Whole Foods a monopoly....I really recommend you look up the definition of monopoly. Whole Foods is competing with a monopoly: Monsanto. Little organic co-ops cannot come close to competing with a fascist multi national corporation that dominates the entire world's agriculture through all means and ends, including world government bodies. They own the stores, brands, trucks, land, farms everything. It is going to take something at least the size of Whole Foods to keep this cartel in check. It is the consumers job the keep buying organic food and non-gmo food so there is demand for it. It is the consumers duty to challenge government actions regarding the issue and without becoming emotionally attached to these organizations who claim to be fighting Monsanto, but are not.

Michael H. says …

http://monsantoboycott.com/featured/usda-forces-whole-foods-to-accept-monsanto/ This article is very disappointing to me and my wife. We are loyal WF shoppers and, up until reading this article, trusted WF and its judgment. Shame on you. We intend to follow this story and others regarding WF's food ethics. If we are not completely satisfied that WF stands for 'good healthy food', then we will not hesitate to remove WF from our list of approved food sources and your brand new store on Lane Avenue in Upper Arlington, Ohio will not be one of our stops. It's that simple. Michael H.

jondska says …

While I applaud WF for environmental concerns, I fail to comprehend why GMO's are regarded as bad. Is it bad to create a plant that can bear more fruit with less water or less fertilizer in a smaller space? Don't you think most of the food that is farmed is already from a GMO? I don't get it.

Mary Volk says …

Thank you for clarifying the information that Monsanto had bought WF. They may not have bought your business yet, but it appears they have already bought your Soul. Why are you not standing up to them? You are in a powerful position to flight for consumer rights to healthy food, or is that just an illusion? I think this rumor was a wake up call for WF to do the right thing

Sari A Myers says …

Libba: When You ask intelligent people who are deeply concerned about both the integrity of our food supply and about the duplicitousness of our politicians, to "stop the insanity!" and then suggest that claims are "ridiculous!" you risk sounding like thou doth protesteth too much. I am not buying what You're selling, either here in this blog or on the shelves of Your pretty, pretty stores.

nate says …

My family shops at Whole Foods, and love it! I do agree with some of the individuals who have posted above about their concerns. It would be great to understand what type of feed is being fed to the cows, fish, and chickens. I think a lot of people would just want to have more information about what they are ingesting. If our food system worked they way it is supposed to, organic would not be an option, it would be the standard. And, if it were the standard, food prices would drop, in which the end result would be people eating healthier. Oh, and it would drop healthcare costs as well. I'm glad Whole Foods exists, because they are at least creating a standard for what supermarkets should offer.

Lina says …

Do you endorse the campaign to label GMOs in California? Now that the petitions are in, your support in local stores could make a huge difference, and go a long way toward dispelling the rumors!

El says …

WF, you named your enterprise “Whole Foods” obviously to target customers who care deeply about healthy foods. But, at the same time, you filled your shelves with GMO-laced “natural” foods undoubtedly knowing that industry research shows most customers thought “natural” means no pesticides and GMOs. (Perhaps like the liars at Kashi you thought it meant “minimally processed!”) Even if you hadn’t realized how confused consumers are by this term (impossible), you couldn’t reasonably have considered GMO foods inserted with bacteria, viral promoters and antibiotic markers and designed to survive being sprayed with residue-leaving glyphosate and 2,4 D poisons could possibly be considered “whole foods!” Better you should own up to being just an average grocery store; change to your founder’s name; and advertise “more organics than our competitors.” Perhaps then customers might be no angrier at you than say, Safeway, for promoting the expansion of GE foods by peddling them unlabeled to Americans. And then like Safeway and all the others, you wouldn’t have felt this need to call for “co-existence” with unmanageable frankencrops that spread their deviant pollen on the wind and threaten to annihilate all organic foods, as well as ruin our soils and kill off our bees. You and your fellow grocers could just sit back, count up your “all natural” profits, and quietly wait for the end.

Erin says …

I have to echo what the others are saying- take a stand and just ban that crap outright. That said I have to say I was disappointed by WF a long time ago. It's not the customer service or store atmosphere that did it- it was your product selection. I can't tell you how many times I went in to look for fruit on the Dirty Dozen list, only to find the "conventional" tag on them. Stone fruits, berries, etc. why should I have to use frozen fruit? After months of this I gave up. In fact, I was delighted when you had to sell one of your stores back to. It's former owner. The fact that your invredient list for a personal pizza ia too big for label, that speaks more than your advertising. I've worked at Alfalfa's before, and know all the myths about affordability, but will favor othe places that are more honest about what they really have to offer.

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