Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

217 Comments

Comments

Crissy Trask says ...
You were given two horrible choices, I get it. What you seem to be saying is hey, GE alfalfa has been approved, we just need to make it as unpleasant as possible. But "coexistence" shouldn't be a long-term solution. Get back in the fight.
01/28/2011 6:11:04 PM CST
Dissappointed says ...
I find two things dissapointing: 1) the lack of comments on this statement released by Whole Foods from its many consumers, unless WFM is deleting them...and 2) the fact that as a company dedicated to the organic label, you have succumbed to the USDA's decision without any fight whatsoever. You did write, "Many people have asked us why we endorsed the coexistence option rather than an outright ban on GE alfalfa. That was never an option in Washington! The USDA presented the industry with only two options..." This is a sorry excuse. Companies such as yours, with a highly dedicated consumer base, as well as being an entity that succeeds off the organic model, have a lot of say in these matters. the USDA never took Organics seriously until Wal-Mart (of all companies) decided to listen to what the market wanted and include Organic products in its stores. After that the USDA saw that the Organic movement was growing, and had to take action. You are where you are because of the customers that led you there, customers who (as far as they KNOW), are eating all organic...thats what they are PAYING FOR, and you have bowed to bad governement regulation that then results in the deception of your customers. On another note, a well-run business would reflect what its customers wanted in its actions with such news. If you truly wanted to support your clientele who even more importantly support YOU, you would stand up against the USDA and refuse any products using GMOs to be put on your shelves. This would hurt your clientele, who would then demand change, which would result in the USDA rethinking its actions. Demand dictates Supply....respect this logic and respect your customers.
01/28/2011 6:28:21 PM CST
bianca says ...
The usda doesn't care. They got the head corporation of Monsanto working in the usda as well as fda and epa. They're all a bunch of crooked liars trying to make their big bucks. They should be held responsible for making America fat, with their GE foods they've changed human dna.
01/28/2011 6:22:45 PM CST
Brigitte says ...
Hmn, I wonder how big the labeling will be. I can go to any other grocer and search for organic food and read every label, but with two kids in tow I have found it more convenient to go to Whole Foods and just shop. Now I may have to search and read labels at Whole Foods as well. I hope the labels are clear, on the front and hopefully in a "GE contaminated" aisle.
01/28/2011 8:34:48 PM CST
Glenn says ...
"We told them (USDA) not to do it, we swear we did!" You lost a customer and many of my friends too. I suggest WFM make a statement through a televised medium and inform people how we are all going to turn this thing around.
01/28/2011 9:51:43 PM CST
Guinevere says ...
Thank you for quickly publishing this blog. I am an avid Whole Foods shopper and supporter. I think you have been remarkable pioneers in all of our quest to keep our nations food as clean as it can be. I am truly saddened that more people do not seem to care about the impact that these inferior crops may have on our nations food supply and our individual health for that matter. I think the best thing all consumers can do is vote with their dollars and buy organic, buy from organizations such as Whole Foods who pursue excellence so that I (we) can shop without having to freak out over labels.... trying to decipher the horrific ingredients listed. You guys are the best- you make a huge impact to so many people. I really have to say THANK YOU!!!!! Thank you for educating the masses and thank you for attempting to regulate or create some order to this GMO chaos.
01/28/2011 11:52:30 PM CST
Joshua says ...
As a former employee and current shareholder, I am disgusted by your recent decision to give in to GMO alfalfa. I will no longer shop at your store, and will organize boycotts and protests at all of my local stores. I am so disappointed.
01/29/2011 12:01:30 AM CST
paig292 says ...
Please note: Links and excerpts from the OCA's misleading article will not be approved as they do not meet our Comment Posting Guidelines: http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/comment-posting-guidelines/ You are welcome to post a dissenting opinion, but it must be original. Thank you.
01/28/2011 5:30:59 PM CST
Mae says ...
I am certain that not all products at WFM are GMO free - WE have to read labels carefully. Monsanto has cornered the Agriculture business and we've been eating GMOs all along and in the feed for livestock. Big Companies have a way of sneaking GMOs into foods under various names and just because it says all natural doesn't mean its good for you. I only buy foods labeled GMO Free, USDA Certified Organic and Wild Caught Fish and the only places I shop are Trader Joe's and WFM.
01/29/2011 9:13:06 AM CST
former whole foods consumer says ...
i was a former whole food shopper. i will not shop there anymore. i will support local farms and food stands now. WF you stink for contaminating yours and our food supply now. our entire neighborhood is mad. we are banding together just as the rest of us here. we will boycott and inform others as well. you have sealed your financial coffin on this one. gmo can not coexist with organic with out contaminating the entire supply until it all becomes gmo. you are contaminating your childrens future by doing this. peaceful revolution. V for victory!
01/30/2011 12:50:00 AM CST
Irritated says ...
Everyone that is hating on Whole Foods for not standing up to Monsanto....Shame on you! You need to educate yourself on the real issue here. Why didn't the people of the US stand up and speak out against Monsanto and the USDA? The deregulation of GE seeds will have a huge impact on the food supply for the entire globe not just the stuff that is being sold to whole foods. Take a stand, contact your congressman, speak out against the USDA's decision...don't wait for Whole Foods to do it for you. I will continue to support Whole Foods Market. I want to thank them for everything that they have done in the past 30 plus years to get natural and organic foods into the mainstream.
01/30/2011 12:18:42 PM CST
josh says ...
i have been shopping at your store for 28 years and with a few quick calculations i can see that i've spent close to a million dollars for my family's groceries. wow. bye, bye whole foods. p.s. no matter how much money you spend on p.r. we know you sold out.
01/30/2011 10:39:07 PM CST
Merdeka says ...
Thank you for this very clear reminder to support local farmers and, more importantly, grow my own food! I will not be shopping at Whole Foods again.
01/31/2011 6:18:18 AM CST
JasonMChicago says ...
Why not put the most prevelant GMO on your unacceptable ingredients list? Put HFCS on the list and make a statement and show you really care about nonGMO in your stores! Do something to show the consumer you care!!!
01/31/2011 3:07:32 PM CST
paig292 says ...
WHOLE FOODS MARKET RESPONDS TO YOUR CONCERNS: Thank you for being passionate about genetically engineered (GE or GMO) crops and for expressing your concern about the availability of non-GMO foods. We are very passionate about this too and are extremely upset that our position has been distorted out there. Don’t be fooled by the OCA (Organic Consumers Association) as it often twists the truth, which confuses consumers. This time, OCA is misleading you by implying that we have “surrendered” to Monsanto and “cut a deal” for co-existence and that we’ll receive “compensation.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Whole Foods Market, along with the National Cooperative Grocers Association, the National Organic Coalition, the Organic Trade Association, Organic Valley, Stonyfield Farms, United Natural Foods and many others in the organic community, were trying to secure protections for organic farmers so biotechnology companies for the first time would be held accountable if GE crops polluted non-GE crops and would be forced to pay for the damages. (No money would ever go to us!) We were also pushing for measures to protect seed purity so that non-GE alfalfa supplies could be maintained. Unfortunately, none of those protections were approved as, to our utter disappointment, the USDA decided to completely deregulate GE alfalfa without restrictions. This means farmers will now be able to plant Roundup Ready GE alfalfa beginning as soon as this spring without having to take into consideration its potential to contaminate neighboring organic and other non-GE alfalfa fields intended to be sold in markets demanding non-genetically engineered products. This is a huge loss for organic and non-GE farmers and consumers who want to have access to non-GE foods. For the OCA to widely spread misinformation and lies about Whole Foods Market and other organic companies by saying that we are joining forces with the biotechnology industry (Monsanto) is beyond ludicrous--especially at a time when we all need to come together to support our goal of ensuring the availability of non-GE foods in the marketplace. To help clarify our overall position, we think it is helpful to see how Megan Westgate, Executive Director of the NON-GMO Project, describes the coalition efforts: "Leading up to the ruling, a broad coalition of organic organizations and companies were working around the clock in an attempt to influence the USDA’s decision. The USDA had already made it clear that alfalfa would be deregulated, but hope remained that there might be some way to soften the blow. Organic Valley, Whole Foods and Stonyfield Farm, along with many others in the organic community, were doing everything in their power to secure protections for organic farmers so that if their fields were contaminated once the GMO alfalfa was released, biotechnology companies for the first time would be held accountable for their pollution and would be forced to pay for the damages. These groups were also pushing for measures to protect seed purity so that non-GMO alfalfa supplies could be maintained. Unfathomably, these tireless organic organizations are now being criticized for their efforts. In total denial of the incontrovertible fact that the USDA was never even remotely considering a full ban on GMO alfalfa, some are suggesting that these group’s efforts to make the most of a bad situation *somehow* (though no one is very specific on how, exactly) signals corruption, and are even calling for boycotts. HOW ON EARTH is taking this out on 1200 organic family farmers going to help anything?! This is divisiveness we cannot afford." You can read the full article here: http://www.nongmoproject.org/2011/01/29/team-organic-will-never-surrender-to-monsanto-now-we-continue-the-fight-together/ Additionally, you may have seen strange accusations saying that Whole Foods Market has agreed to sell genetically engineered foods. We haven’t agreed to anything! This is another attempt to twist the facts. The reality is that no grocery store in the United States, no matter what size or type of business, can claim they are GMO-free. While we have been and will continue to be staunch supporters of non-GMO foods, we are not going to mislead our customers with an inaccurate claim (and you should question anyone who does). Here’s why: the pervasive planting of GMO crops in the U.S. and their subsequent use in our national food supply. 93% of soy, 86% of corn, 93% of cotton, and 93% of canola seed planted in the U.S. in 2010 were genetically engineered. Since these crops are commonly present in a wide variety of foods, a GMO-free store is currently not possible in the U.S. (unless the store sells only organic foods.) Since the U. S. national organic standards do not allow the use of GMO ingredients and practices in the growing or production of organic foods, choosing organic is one way consumers can avoid GMO foods. The other is through labeling, of which we are strong supporters. Here is a look at some of the other things we have done on the non-GE front over the past couple of decades: •We have advocated for mandatory labeling of GMO foods since 1992, even before they were made commercially available. •We were founding members of the Non-GMO Project, which works to ensure the sustained availability of non-GMO choices through an industry-wide product standard to create a non-GMO labeling program that can be fully substantiated. •Our 365 Everyday Value® and Whole Foods Market™ brand products are sourced to avoid GMOS, and our partnership with the Non-GMO Project will enable us to verify and label both natural and organic products. In fact, we have enrolled our store brand food products in this pioneering product verification program, which ensures the sustained availability of non-GMO choices through an industry-wide product standard. These include products that natural as well as those that are organic. •Beyond our stores, we have publicly advocated for clear labeling of GE food and shared our concerns that the USDA and FDA’s policies on GE foods are not consistent with our consumers’ expectations. We will continue to work aggressively on this issue because we believe that GMO food ingredients should be clearly labeled, and that consumers who want to avoid them should have an actionable way to do so. While the USDA’s decision will make our work more difficult, we are as committed as ever to ensuring that non-GMO food remains available and we will continue to advocate for our farmers and for our shoppers on this issue.
01/28/2011 3:59:47 PM CST
John Hogan says ...
I guess this should not be a surprise. This just gave the All Clear to what has already been done to the Organic Farmer. Monsanto can threaten to sue w/o the threat of being sued or being liable. So now an Organic Farmers crop has more risks of being contaminated but yet their (the farmer is) still held liable for cleanup or risk being sued for patent infringement! What a great idea! USDA simply search "monsanto sues farmers"
01/31/2011 4:40:05 PM CST
Tomas Zeller says ...
Whole Foods - if the above is truly your stance, then stand with us and abolish the "natural" branded items in your store. It's organic or nothing. You're either with us or against us - don't hide behind the rhetoric of "providing our customers with a choice".
01/31/2011 4:39:05 PM CST
Rob says ...
I personally make it a point during my travels across the states to plan my trip around a Whole Foods Store but considering the fact that Whole Foods Markets is bending to Monsanto and GMO I will no longer be doing business with Whole Foods Markets any longer. Whole Foods Market is doing damage control here and as sincere as this blog may seem it is in itself distorted. I applaud Whole Foods Market in its initial stand against Monsanto and GMO but in light of its current position (which i measure in action and NOT words)I can no longer support Whole Foods Market. Food co-ops and farmers markets are where the strength still remains. Godspeed.
02/01/2011 12:34:27 AM CST
Debra Trojan says ...
I talked to your corporate office six months ago and was told that there were only TWO products in your entire 365 line that Whole Foods guaranteed to be GMO-free; all the rest MAY have GMO in them. What a crock of S%$t! The average person who shops at WFM believes that the 365 line is GMO-free and that's why they are willing to pay your inflated prices. You guys are a FRAUD!
02/01/2011 2:25:18 AM CST
Dee says ...
As my comment awaits "moderation" before being posted--not yet posted-- it appears Whole Foods is also screening comments. How typical--post only a few critical and an uncommon lot of supportive comments, including by apparent Whole Food personnel.
02/01/2011 5:00:05 AM CST
Dee says ...
Looks like your own spokesperson, Paige Brady, is monopolizing the comments here. I don't trust Whole Foods anymore. You have done so many things of questionable nature from a sustainability perspective, while dominating and controlling a large market -- this just seems to fit a bit too well. Corporate profits are the bottom line. And by the way, I read analysis in the past of your frozen 360 vegetables (or maybe your Whole foods brand, get them mixed up)-- as I recall, it was another beware, more falseness situation. And is there no fish you won't sell if there are buyers no matter how endangered? Or small company you won't take over? So spare us the false indignity. And by the way, I'd like to know where you are labeling GE or GMO on your products. And why did you not seek the organic communities input and letters to the USDA before this pact with the devil?
02/01/2011 4:54:35 AM CST
Brian says ...
What percentage of Whole Foods' sales come from products that contain unlabeled GMO organisms, especially soy, corn, and canola? Whole Foods is choosing profit over ethics. If they didn't back GMO poisoning of the Earth and the people and animals inhabiting it, they wouldn't sell the poison! There is no compromise between right and wrong.
02/01/2011 6:25:58 AM CST
Louise says ...
You don't really care for the organics question. You said yourself awhile ago, that its all about the money. I won't shop at your place. You are a fake.
02/01/2011 11:03:47 AM CST
Andrew Dickey says ...
Soon GE/GMO pollen or seed will spread to NON~ GE/GMO stock and it will be all the same. They are looking to have farmers here in ID grow GE Sugar Beets and the farmers may want this!! So I believe we are getting caught from the Monsanto and others + some farmers who want this garbage in their fields. So grow your own folks.. Find a local grower who grows their own and support them. Sponsor Seed savers exchange and exchange NON GE/GMO Seed with others. Watch how your foods will be pollinated. This is another sad day for me....
02/01/2011 3:43:26 PM CST
Tom says ...
Lot of childish remarks here about taking business elsewhere. I'm sure all the dedicated employees will appreciate that. These are from the same liberals that want government to protect them from reality, but probably have never dealt with the govt. bureaucracy, so they don't realize they are cutting their own throats. The government agencies has devolved into a bunch of cowards who are only interested in themselves and their masters first, and if you are benefitted, well, that's a side effect. The USDA, like the FDA, has been taken over by the "special interests" that are intent on ruining the health and vitality of this country. You know who they are. But of course, you are not allowed to say. It's over. You can't run a planet on GMO foods. And that is what they want. Don't blame WF, though I do wonder about the comment about the CEO and Vilsack being buddies, Vilsack is inherently evil. The dark side specializes in taking over big companies and ignoring the best interests of the people, while claiming otherwise.
02/01/2011 5:45:18 PM CST

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