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Urgent Action Needed to Support Organics and Non-GE Crops

Update 1/28/11

We are very disappointed in the USDA’s decision to deregulate GE Alfalfa with no conditions (meaning no restrictions to support coexistence). Planting GE alfalfa without restrictions may cause potential contamination of organic and non-genetically engineered crops. Despite this setback, Whole Foods Market will continue to be strong advocates for non-GE foods, their clear labeling and offering them in the marketplace.
If you've read the recent letter from the OCA we highly encourage you to read this as well. It's a wonderful response to the USDA's decision to deregulate GE alfalfa from the Executive Director of The Non-GMO Project, a non-profit multi-stakeholder collaboration committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices. http://www.nongmoproject.org/2011/01/29/team-organic-will-never-surrender-to-monsanto-now-we-continue-the-fight-together/
Please read our subsequent blog post about our concerns and read what Samuel Fromartz's says about the fallout on his Chewswise blog.

---------- We hope everyone reading this will consider taking action immediately (click here to act now) to help ensure both organic and non-genetically engineered (GE) agriculture remain viable options in the U.S. We believe farmers have a right to grow foods without fear of contamination from others’ GE crops—and that consumers have a right to make the choice to buy non-GE products. Seven years ago Monsanto petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to deregulate GE alfalfa which would allow it to be planted anywhere. Now, within a few days, the USDA will announce its decision whether to: 1) fully deregulate GE alfalfa OR 2) conditionally deregulate it by placing certain rules and restrictions on growing GE alfalfa that would minimize or limit contamination of non-GE crops (including organic). This second “coexistence” option is what we are rallying for even though we continue to have reservations about GE crops. The issue with GE alfalfa is the potential contamination of organic and non-GE alfalfa, which is used as a mainstay food for organic and non-GE dairy cows, beef cattle and honey bees. While USDA's decision will be specific to GE alfalfa, it will be a precedent-setting decision for how or whether other genetically engineered foods will be regulated far into the future. We applaud the USDA's historic approach considering deregulation with conditions (or coexistence) as one of the options. By recognizing that cross-contamination of GE alfalfa could impact organic and non-GE farmers and consumers, both domestically and for our export markets, the USDA is acknowledging that organic agriculture has the right to not only survive but to thrive alongside conventional agriculture. So, faced with the choice between full deregulation of GE alfalfa or conditional deregulation of it, our best chance at preserving seed purity, and the future of organic and non-GE agriculture now is to fight for every protection available under the USDA’s conditional deregulation coexistence option.

Contact the USDA, the White House and your Congressperson before Monday, January 24th. Tell them non-GE crops should have a seat at the table! True COEXISTENCE is a must. Ask your congressperson to contact House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas to express support for Secretary Vilsack’s coexistence plan. 

If we raise our voices together, we can make a difference. Send this call to action to everyone you know who is concerned about organics and non-GE crops. Post written by Whole Foods Market leaders Walter Robb, co-CEO, and Margaret Wittenberg, Global VP of Quality Standards & Public Affairs.

Background on the GE alfalfa issue

On December 16, 2010, the USDA released its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of Monsanto's genetically engineered Roundup Ready Alfalfa. The EIS was conducted in response to a court decision demanding more thorough analysis of the potential environmental, economic and health impacts of GE alfalfa before approving deregulation. The EIS outlines three options for addressing GE alfalfa: 1.    Fully deregulate it (allow it to be planted anywhere) 2.    Fully regulate it (non-production; USDA has indicated this is not an option it would pursue) 3.    Conditionally deregulate it (allow GE alfalfa to be grown with certain rules and restrictions USDA would impose to minimize or limit contamination of non-GE crops) Shortly after releasing the EIS, USDA indicated their preference for the third option and asked the biotech, non-GE and organic communities to convene to try and find common ground for formulating rules and restrictions under conditional deregulation. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack recently invited representatives from agriculture, business and consumer organizations to explore coexistence between non-GE proponents and GE proponents.  It showed refreshing leadership after many years of debate that has cost farmers with contaminated crops in this country millions of dollars in litigation over the years. Our non-GE and organic farmers continue to be concerned with crop contamination and market rejection. Independent studies in the U.S. and in other countries on GE crops have documented a long list of reasons for concern, including evidence that these crops lead to herbicide-resistant super-weeds and require the use of more toxic herbicides. As mentioned above, organic alfalfa is used as feed by most organic and non-GE dairies. Also, the policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. There are rigorous standards in place for USDA-certified organics. We are encouraged that USDA has taken tentative steps and we believe its coexistence plan can support all consumers, farmers and agribusinesses.  We believe true coexistence should include three central issues:

  • The protection of seed purity for all farmers, including organic, so we maintain variety and avoid massive mono-culture;
  • Compensation by the patent holder to the farmer for any losses related to the contamination of his crop; and
  • Public oversight by the USDA rather than relying on the biotechnology industry to voluntarily try to contain GE contamination as the USDA has the authority to protect all US agriculture.

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312 comments

Comments

Donna Mazzitelli says …

I agree with many of the earlier comments--absolutely NO on coexistence. There must be zero tolerance of GE crops. It's not a question of whether GE crops will contaminate non-GE and organic crops, but rather a question of how soon. This could be the end of organic dairy farms, along with the further demise of bees, monarch butterflies, and more. The proposal of coexistence is a way to pacify the unsuspecting public. And which corporations are receiving paybacks from Monsanto by going along with this scheme? As consumers, we must cast our votes to stop GE alfalfa from being planted this spring or ever! For those who want to STOP GENETICALLY ENGINEERED ALFALFA, go to http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/ and take action TODAY!

Monica Dewart says …

I WROTE TO MY CONGRESSMAN. Here is a cut/paste: Sir, I write concerning the issue of genetically engineered food crops and the growing concern of the impact of these mutations upon the food supply, human health, and the environment. Genetically altered species have already crossed with natural species, representing a biological impact of unknown proportions. And, as the altered genes travel up the food chain, who is to say what unintended consequences may result? Once the mutant DNA of these food crops enters the ecosystem, the genes can never be recalled! And, as the domino effect of mutation continues, fewer and fewer remaining natural organisms exist within the food chain that are not contaminated by the mutant genes. Because the public has been kept deliberately in the dark, the marketplace has become flooded with genetically engineered foodstuffs. But, while the cause may have slipped past us, the effect has not! As we have begun to see the catastrophic disaster GMO's create (on a multitude of levels - agricultural, economic, environmental and human health,) there is now a growing public outcry that these genetic mutations be put to a stop. If the USDA has their way with GMO alfalfa (as it has with every other atrocity it has unleashed upon us,) it will be grown in every pasture and grazing field in America. Once this occurs, we will never again have access to clean, healthy, organic dairy products, grass-fed beef and lamb, etc. Millions of Americans rely on these products for their health and that of their families. This choice is being taken from us, without our knowledge or consent, as has already occurred with corn, cotton, wheat, canola, soy, sugar beets, etc. Nearly every packaged consumer good now contains engineered genes. The consumer is not ever educated as to whether the product they are purchasing contains these genetic mutations (not surprising. As one official put it, it would be like putting a skull and crossbones on the label.) They are not given the option of purchasing a non-genetically engineered product, unless they are willing to intentionally seek one out. (And how would they know that they must, since the truth is deliberately withheld from them?) Many do not know this threat to their lives and health even exists, right on the dinner plate they rely on. With the recent enactment of the blasphemously named "food safety" laws, the backyard organic gardener becomes an enemy of the state, while his only crime is that of protecting the health of his family. Organic foods consumers and gardeners are not criminals, nor are they terrorists, sir. They are people choosing common sense and authentic food safety over genetic abomination. Please do not let another opportunity to put a stop to this impending disaster slip by! While what has already be released is unable to be recalled, we can stop any future release of GMO's. Such an opportunity presents itself now, with the impending release of GM alfalfa. If the USDA is given their way, the option for organic, uncontaminated beef, dairy products, etc, will not exist. But they must! They must be permitted, at a minimum, to co-exist, since the recall of the aberrant genes is not biologically possible. I beg of you, in the name of all that is decent and sane, do not allow the USDA to continue unrestrained! Please use the voice you have been given by your constituents to truly represent what is in the best interests of all. Protect our health, our lives, our fields and pastures, our food supply, and ultimately the world. Thank you.

Don Patterson says …

Coexistence is unworkable. Yesterday, I sent the following message to President Obama and Secretary Vilsack: “Recently, Roger Johnson, the president of the National Farmers Union, made a surprisingly faulty assertion about the GMO issue. He said everyone has to tolerate some contamination in virtually everything. He said he wanted people to be realistic, and he was promoting coexistence between organic and GM farmers much the same as Secretary Vilsack and Monsanto do. He compared GMO contamination to rat dung contamination and other dirt. ”Of course, we all carry levels of pollutants in our bodies, and when those levels grow high enough, health troubles like cancer and cardio-vascular disease can be caused. The point is that GMO contamination is entirely different from other kinds of pollution. When the gene pool becomes contaminated it has different implications from other kinds of pollution that have long been managed under the motto saying “the solution to pollution is dilution.” With gene contamination, there can be no dilution argument, because the agent of the pollution is self propagating with unknown and unstudied consequences. Failure to recognize the difference is to be a fool, or so corrupt in promoting unbridled pursuit of profit as to tolerate moral blindness and ignore the importance of scientific analysis. Either way, a charge of criminal negligence is warranted, not just for public officials and companies but also for others who prominently support them in their folly.“ Now Whole Foods wants us to join Vilsack, Monsanto, and Johnson in the criminally negligent coexistence folly. Actually, Whole Foods was already on board with this insanity. Inform yourselves. Releasing GM alfalfa is far worse than any other crops because it is perennial, does spread wildly, and is pollinated by bees with a five mile travel radius. Articles are available on this subject, but here is a summary: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/blog/664 This is Jeffrey Smith’s Report on Professor Huber’s Work at Purdue.

vaporland says …

Coexistence is going to be a disaster. I agree 100% with everything Don Patterson said. What is the penalty for contamination that results in damage to others and the environment? Who will be liable? Is the farmer using GMO seed liable? Who will ultimately pay the costs to mitigate the inevitable damage? I sense another 'capitalize the profits, socialize the damage' scenario playing out. With genetics, once the genie is out of the bottle, there's no stuffing hm back in. This will make bank bailouts look like weekend beer money.

Judy says …

GMO's are another way for Big AG to dominate our food source. They represent corporate greed.(Monsanto, come on) Organic farmers represent the people who care about the land, our environment, and the people who choose a better higher quality food source for their family. Please do open another door for Big AG! They are steeped to deep in Washington already. Our Organic Farmers need our support. This is far to important to ignore. You are what you eat ! So Eat organic !

Paula says …

I believe that any United States farmer has a right to grow foods without fear of contamination from others’ GE crops—and that consumers have a right to make the choice to buy non-GE products.

Judy Fremerman says …

I am very concerned about the spread of G.E. crops and the widespread use of pestcides. It is killing the bees, which are vital to our fruit trees and other crops. Also G.E. foods should be labelled as such as is required of other ingredients in our food. Thank you, Judy Fremerman

RobertWhitford says …

I am not hopeful for organic food in the future, as that evil food CZAR" Monsanto "controls the worlds food sources, and sells suicide seeds to third world countries. But it's all about Greed isn't it.

Seaneen says …

I wrote to my Congresswoman - but it would have been a lot easier with a form letter. More people would take the time to respond. I almost gave it up, then guilt made me follow thru. I fashioned this one via copy and paste: Dear [Congressperson]: Please contact House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas to express support for USDA Secretary Vilsack’s COEXISTENCE plan. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is about to announce its decision on deregulating genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa. Alfalfa is the main food for dairy cows, beef cattle and honey bees. I believe organic and non-GE farmers have a right to grow foods without fear of contamination from genetically engineered crops. I want the choice to buy organic and non-GE products. The COEXISTENCE option means the USDA would place restrictions on growing genetically engineered alfalfa to limit contamination of organic and non-GE crops. Thank you,

Helen says …

Why do we have to co-exist with GE??? Why do they have the right to tamper with our food chain, and we are supposedly unable to defend ourselves or our food. NO GE ALFALFA AT ALL. Watch Food inc, again people, GE crops spread everywhere and then monsanto comes along and ruins farmers when they find some of the GE crop growing 'illegally' in their fields!!!

Kiyoko Hairston says …

you guys should create a form letter and that way people can quickly sign it. that is what some others are doing. it is much faster. they are also doing these letters in such a way that you can have them emailed to several people at a time. just something to consider.

carolyn says …

From your article, "There are rigorous standards in place for USDA-certified organics." There are also rigorous scientific standards in place for USDA deregulation of biotech crops!!

Alicia Kanary says …

How very sad. Should electronic petitions have been created and allowed to be electronically signed from this website, and issued to individual representatives, mass support would have been easily documented.

Donald Morse says …

Please help in getting the government out of our food. Support organicly raised products and non genetically engineered foods.

Mieander says …

I don't know why we stop with GMO crops. All crops grown now have been modified beyond recognition from their wild type species. If genetically modified crops are bad for us, why are crops modified in more traditional ways better for us? Shouldn't we be trying to bet back to unaltered crops and wild type species?

dwain allan young says …

Actions such as GE crops will force the US to be weaker in the global market. But do you think monsanto cares about that? It really looks as though not in my opinion. Fight to stop this action. Organic and NON-GE farmers need to be included in this debate.

Denis says …

This is probably one of the important issues of our time. Our government and large agrobusiness is trying to move forward and use us as Guinea Pigs with unproven technology for their profit. We have to do our part to stop this for us and future generations!

Douglas Reeves says …

I do not want products that have GM material in them. And the thought that a farmer who wants to plant a GM crop will containment a non GM farmers crop appalls me.

allie molinda says …

In my heart I believe that the GE alfalfa should be fully regulated, but it seems more likely that conditional regulation would pass. I'll take what I can get.

chris says …

Think og all the ge foods u eat know it takes a normal farmer a year to grow a chicken to9 ar 10 pounds clasic chicken rasie 40 thousand in 8 weeks ...

Rabea says …

Are you kidding?!! I just made a choice not to shop at Whole Foods. You've pushed me past my tipping point.

Sandra Faut says …

I would like to see all GE foods banned but since this is not likely, the compromise will have to do. Thank you for alerting me to the the USDA's possible action. I wrote and told them I want to be able to continue to TRUST the food I buy. I specifically look for organic and non-GE. I hope Whole Foods continues to speak up and to inform us. Thank you.

Mark says …

The USDA even considering messing around with our organic foods/farming is beyond appalling. Genetic engineering is power gone crazed. We have to many individuals in power thinking they know what's best for all, and they do not. Now it seems to be that we have to choose the lesser of two evils since they(science) has bullied it's way into people's lives without permission, as they always do. We risk permanent change in all our food as it is, especially if we choose the deregulation of GE food production. Natural/organic food is the only alternative. Let's wipe out the entire genetic engineering concept all together. This is best!

Jessie says …

Thank you so much for posting this. Although we consider ourselves to be healthy eaters, making organic choices as much as possible, we have only come to realize the GE food crisis in the last few days. Aside from what we want for the health of our family, we think the general public should have a better understanding of the relationship between our government and our food supply. It's good to know that the USDA is pushing further investigations before more crops are contaminated.

Barbara says …

I saw a movie a while ago about what Monsanto did to farmers that tried to protect thier seeds. It was a ruthless move and they hurt many farmers with litigation, using their power, wealth and influence to win the cases. PEOPLE WAKE UP!!! We need to stand together and stop this kind of power that hurts US ultimately. Above it states: Fully regulate it (non-production; USDA has indicated this is not an option it would pursue) Why wont the USDA pursue this? Has anyone looked at the connections in the government and the board of Monsanto? It is so frustrating to be just one small person that knows whats happening and be so powerless over a company that cares more about profit then health. Please stand up for conditional deregulation, it isn't the best option, full regulations would be, however one small step toward protecting our organic products is better then nothing.

Gary D. says …

Billion dollar corporations (MONSANTO) with the support of the U.S. GOVERNMENT is a no win situation. Coexistence is a "foot in the door" for MONSANTO to push for complete deregulation of alfalfa. Only in America.

bob forkish says …

Link below = more info: https://secure3.convio.net/cfs/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=353 Center for Food Safety needs our help to present fact and preserve Organic!

Russell Williams says …

Who would have thought that Whole Foods, a company I greatly respected until now, would turn into an activist arm of Greenpeace. This is one of the most disgusting tactics I have ever had the misfortune of being target by. Not only does the information presented here seriously mislead the consumer, but it provides an open forum for the most ridiculous assertions that can be made about a completely safe technology. First off, there is zero, and i mean zero credible scientific data that genetically modified alfalfa, or any gmo for that mater causes any harm to the environment or the health of humans. The links sited here are nothing but biased assertions by anti-gmo activists who have their own money generating agenda. The anti gmo agenda is nothing but a psudo corporate scam designed evoke consumer fears in order to fund a dangerously progressive political agenda. Whole Foods should be ashamed of themselves. To use their consumers to further an unscientific bias against a safe and effective technology is the epitome of crony capitalism. They are using their unscientific and subjective bias against gmo's to protect their business model, which in and of itself is based on furthering the consumer misperception that the USDA organic label is something that it is not. The USDA organic labor does not and was never intended to provide for a zero tolerance of gmo's. The standard is a process based standard which requires farmers to certify that they do not use the technology. Any notion that the USDA label is in jeopardy because of GMO's is an outright lie. I am a farmer in Texas and our operation has used biotechnology from the very beginning. Since that time, we have modified our operation to take advantage of the benefits provided by e technology. We use far less pesticide, have far less land erosion, use water much more efficiently and provide greater quality and quantity of food for our growing population. What Whole Foods is doing here is putting family farms all over the country in jeopardy and they are doing it based on their need to continue to profit from misleading their consumers. There was a time when i loved going in Whole Foods. I enjoyed the atmosphere, the cafe and the artisanal foods that are unique to them. While I may be only one voice, I will never patron this establishment again and will be contacting all of my family and friends to follow me. It is truly a sad day in this world when a company will go to such lengths to profit. Whole Foods, you are a dishonorable company who is putting my livelihood in jeopardy and I hope that your new foray info retailer activism backfires. May God have mercy on your lying black souls.

Nicole says …

Whole Foods, it would be really nice to have a sample letter to send. Not all of us are good at this sort of thing.

Sarina l. Mirsk says …

ABSOLUTELY...we as consumers must have the right to decide what we will put in our's & our childrens bodies & what we want to purchase. We are responsible for how we take care of ourself & that is our right...no one can dictate or refuse us this choice...

Kathy Zurolo says …

Farmers most definately should have a right to grow foods without fear of contamination from others’ GE crops, and consumers have a right to make the choice to buy non-GE products.

Jdy says …

NO to any GMO products. Put Monsanto out of businesses...PLEASE!!!

Scott Smith says …

This story seems to be grossly distorted. The issue here is not about regulating or not regulating GMO alfalfa. The KEY point here is what USDA Secretary Vilsack argues is necessary for everyone, that organic farmers must accept and tolerate "coexistence" with genetically modified crops/seed. The problem with this concept is that the compromise is born exclusively by organic farmers and the entire population. Once Genetically modified crops are released into the wild they cannot EVER BE RECALLED. Despite what the alfalfa farmers say regarding harvest practices and how this mitigates pollen propagation, the issue still boils down to GMO assaulting the environment, neighboring fields and the food supply. Regulation of GMO Alfalfa, at this time, is about the USDA defining a coexistence framework. To support regulation is to support releasing more genetically engineered crops into our already over-GMO'd food supply. Most people aren't even aware that we've been under assault by GMO for 17 years. How about most soy, corn, canola and cotton seed oil grown in the US is genetically engineered?! These industrial foods stuffs are broken-down into ingredients and incorporated into almost every processed food. Another GMO is just another feather in Monsanto's black hat.

Brad says …

Hello everyone! If you want to shut down a company, you spread the word and set a date. Then everyone stops purchasing any product from that company for the next two months onward. If just 30 to 40% of their customer base stops purchasing products, they are out of business for good. Want to get the Governments attention! Everyone save food for six months and then stay home and don't go anywhere and don't purchase anything at all! Most company's in this country will collaps in the first month and then the Government will listen. You see the problem in this country is that the companies get the Governments attention with money and power, like Monsanto. We will only get their attention when we take the control away from companies like Monsanto by not buying their products.

Chris says …

Hello, I am e-mailing you to ask that you FULLY REGULATE Monsanto's genetically engineered Roundup Ready Alfalfa. This will have UNPRECEDENTED effects on our eco-system along with health effects to animals and humans residing in the United States. There must be more research done through thorough analysis of the potential environmental, economic, and health implications posed by the genetically engineered Alfalfa. I still cannot understand why Europe has the most stringent regulations when it comes to GMO / GE crops and foods and the United States sulks in the Industrial stone age. I am also not looking forward to the future rise of frivolous lawsuits by Monsanto if this is overlooked. Monsanto is known for suing farmers for PATENT INFRINGEMENT when it comes to simple cross pollination in which the farmers would have NEVER WANTED ANY sort of Monsanto hybrid strain in the first place. The United States must put an emphasis on Organic farming/gardening before it is too late. Please strike down Monsanto's genetically engineered Roundup Ready Alfalfa, and put humans and animals FIRST before corporate profits, interests, and deregulation. With great concern, Chris (I also called my congress person!)

F. Sfrenato says …

I'm vehemently opposed to GE in every way, shape and form. Whole Foods should know it's unwise to do business with Monsanto Corporation> greedy, ruthless, pernicious,the enemy of Organic Living!!

Floriana says …

We need to do something about this cancer causing company monsanto ... They are killing our food supply and the government turns the other way. There are too many ignorant people that don't know the difference and the more thats contaminated the less chance anyone will have being disease free. You need to boycott all genetically modified food. How did Europe do it? I feel like we are run my a bunch of puppets but the power belongs to the consumer ...

Andres says …

First off, thanks for the heads up. Second, just some feedback: It would be awesome if you guys could have a web form with a pre-typed letter that one could sign electronically and simply click "send" (like in petition websites). While most people do support the issue at hand, most either don't have the time to compose a letter or are intimidated by writing to a government entity directly. Plus, when people share it with others who may be more of a fringe supporter, that person's way more likely to click on 'Send' than if they have to go to another website/program to type & send an email.

HK says …

If you don't have GMO alfalfa as a foe, how will you be able to continue charging aproximately $6 for a gallon of milk?

George Mandler says …

If you care about your food supply do NOT support the position of Whole Foods. We need a ban on GMO not a compromise. Compromise is what my Democratic congressman do. We need to be the bully and say no GMO. With GMO is guaranteed cross contamination. As someone that specializes in digestive health there is little doubt that GMO foods can cause health and inflammatory issues. See: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22240.cfm

Pamela Cataldo says …

Regarding the USDA’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of Monsanto’s genetically engineered Roundup Ready Alfalfa, I beseech you to support Americans’ right to choose what kind of food we eat. Genetically modified seeds should NOT be allowed to be planted indiscriminately. There are so many documented hazards associated with GE foods, and many more as yet unknown. Here is a site with link to a host of reports from the FDA on the matter:

Megan Westgate says …

It's really inspiring to see how many people are engaging on this issue, and taking a stand to protect organic and non-GMO crops. It's a tough situation, because of course we all would love to see GMOs banned completely. I do appreciate, though, the importance of being pragmatic and strategic. Given that the USDA has said that they are not considering a full ban, and given that Monsanto has spent up to $25 million dollars/year on lobbying in recent years, it's not necessarily smart for us to simply dig our heals in and yell. Who, realistically, is listening? The fact is, whether we like it or not (and we DON'T), "coexistence" is already happening. The question is whether we can help influence USDA policy so that there is actually protection and compensation for those who suffer the consequences (especially organic farmers). A coexistence policy with the elements proposed by Whole Foods above would be a complete game changer, and a huge step in the right direction. Megan Westgate Executive Director, Non-GMO Project http://www.nongmoproject.org/

Alison says …

What is so totally ironic about this whole issue is the story recounted in the documentary, Food, Inc., how many farmers in central/southern Illinois have been assaulted legally and financially by Monsanto, because Monsanto's GM crops have cross pollinated into other farms and then the Monsanto investigators check these farmers' crops only to find that the genetically altered crap is in their crops too. Then Monsanto sues these farmers for patent infringement, but doesn't want to be held to the same standard of not contaminating someone else's crops. How can that be just? Listen, I don't think we're going to win this one. Monsanto has the money and they are in the pockets of the politicians. It's sickening, but really, unless someone in Washington stands up against this corruption, we don't stand a chance. The FDA, USDA and insurance companies are all in this thing together. They all pad one another's pockets and in the meantime, America is getting sicker and poorer. Plant your own garden. Exercise. Work hard and save your money. It's the only chance we have.

Sean says …

I am so terribly disappointed in the position taken by Whole Foods, the consumer is being betrayed by a 5th Column and mole in our midst. Shame on Whole Foods!!!

doug says …

i just cannot help but get upset with the stupidity of this government. if these republicans and whatever really care about straightening the government out,let them start THINKING ABOUT THE WELLBEING of people. not, big businesses that want to stuff their pockets with cash and be exempt from taxes. there is a story in the NY Times about how the government acts with our tax dollars. promoting health with one hand and then doing something totally idiotic. www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/us/07fat.html?_r=1 has a story which really points to lunacy. i want to question if the government wants to get rid of stuff, why does the price of this going higher in the grocery stores? if i come across as not trusting businesses and government, can you really blame me?

Ronald Venne says …

Sir, You must know that co-existence between healthy and GMO will never work. This is not a perfect world, money Rules the game. With out "truth in labeling", big Agi-biz will win and even your "365" labled products won't survive. There won't be a healthy choice for anyone. Co-existence is what brought all of us to this point in time. Thank you for your support and good healthy products, but the nextstep needs to be addressed.

Jan Buck says …

I think GE is basically a non-proven technology and is likely harmful to humans and the planet. Please do not carry GE foods, or at least non-labeled GE foods. If this technology were so great, there would not be this non-lableing vs lableing issue. Thank you for listening and please take action. I would like to continue to shop at Whole Foods, but will not if you do not show more integrity w/regard to this issue. Think Trader Joe and other smaller health food stores.

Midge Constantino says …

Frankly, I am quite shocked that Whole Foods is rallying for coexistence, instead of full deregulation of GMOs. The article below by The Organic Consumers Association makes me ill: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22449.cfm I was expecting Whole Foods to be all over this issue, and not taking a back seat. This is another prime example of how Americans are turning more like sheep every single day. It's disgusting.

Jay Borden says …

I have been shopping in your stores for years and welcomed your store into our community. But your recent actions are puzzling to say the least. I find your stand on "coexistence" on GE food unconscionable. You know that the term "natural" is misleading and does not mean food that is uncontaminated or adulterated. Yet you speak about "coexistence" with the biotech companies that promote GE crops as if it is a noble thing. You also know that the widespread use of GE crops will spread and contaminate the entire food supply including organic crops. It is clear that your name and corporate values are not honest. It is imperative that companies and individuals that value quality and honesty in food insist that all genetically modified food be clearly and visibly labeled. No one knows the effects of GMO on human beings and everyone has a right to know if what they are eating is genetically modified or not. How can anyone make an informed decision about their food if the food is not labeled accurately and honestly? Please live up to your stated values and use your size and financial resources that come from people like me who want to eat uncontaminated food to protect the food supply. Sincerely, Jay

Kelly McEntee says …

Giving up Full Regulation was a mistake and Coexistence is a lie. Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm have decided to stop fighting. For them, Coexistence is survival, evidenced by 2/3 of the products in the store being conventional. You have swallowed by the monster and in ten years, non-GMO will be history. This is just step 1 of the end of it.

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