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USDA Disappoints: No Regulations on GE Alfalfa

It is difficult to express how disappointed we are by the USDA’s decision to completely deregulate genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa without restrictions. This news means farmers will now be able to plant Roundup Ready GE alfalfa without restrictions, beginning as soon as this spring. The USDA had been considering two potential decisions on this issue – either full deregulation or deregulation with restrictions. The latter would have set rules to protect non-GE crops from contamination. While Whole Foods Market and other advocates for non-GE and organic foods feel the USDA’s deregulation decision is a setback, we will continue the fight for the protection of non-GE food, as we have ever since genetically engineered crops first appeared in the marketplace. Whole Foods Market advocated strongly for deregulation with restrictions to preserve the ability of non-GE and organic growers to avoid contamination. It seemed that the USDA was finally recognizing that cross-contamination of GE alfalfa could potentially impact organic and non-GE farmers and consumers, both domestically and for our export markets. In fact, by inviting non-GE industry members to D.C. to discuss this issue, it appeared as though the USDA was acknowledging that organic and non-GE agriculture has the right to not only survive, but to thrive alongside GE agriculture. Unfortunately, the USDA’s decision fell far short of this mark, and we believe that unrestricted planting of GE alfalfa without setting any clear coexistence framework, with thresholds for contamination and providing for ongoing testing and verification, is irresponsible. As true advocates of non-GE foods, we had hoped for far better from this process. Here is a post on Samuel Fromartz's Chewswise blog that does a good job of describing the potential fallout. And this blog from the Non-GMO Project website responds to "the misguided distress expressed by the Organic Consumers Association and others in the last two days since the USDA announced deregulation of GMO alfalfa." 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 that they were considering– deregulation and deregulation with restrictions. Given the pervasive planting of GE crops in the U.S. – 93% of soy, 86% of corn, 93% of cotton and 93% of canola seed planted were genetically engineered in the U.S. in 2010 – the option of an outright ban was not on the table. Whole Foods Market — along with the National Cooperative Grocers Association, the National Organic Coalition, the Organic Trade Association, and other companies and groups — endorsed the path of deregulation with restrictions, or coexistence, not because it was a perfect path, but because it was a path to create meaningful change right now in the regulating of genetically engineered foods and the protection of non-GE foods. Because we supported the USDA’s approach of coexistence, certain consumer groups misunderstood our efforts and accused us of supporting big biotech, endorsing the proliferation of GE crops, and turning our backs on our shoppers’ and their desire to avoid GE food. Nothing could be further from the truth! Whole Foods Market has been a staunch supporter of non-GE foods in the marketplace.  We have taken a strong and visible stance on biotechnology in agriculture, and will continue to do so. 
  • We believe that GE food should be clearly labeled, and that the USDA and FDA’s policies on GE foods are not consistent with our consumers’ expectations.
  • Since 1992, before GE crops were even commercialized, we have been educating and advocating on this issue, and we will continue to pursue our right to sell non-GE food.
  • We are proud to be a founding leader of The Non-GMO Project, which works to ensure the sustained availability of non-GMO choices through an industry-wide product standard. (Genetically engineered and Genetically Modified Organism — GMOs — are used interchangeably.)
  • We are committed to sourcing our store brand products to avoid GE ingredients, and we will continue to fight for strong organic standards that do not allow the use of GE crops.
  • We support the National Organic Standards, which prohibit GMOs in organics, and we champion informed consumer choice with regard to GMOs.
  • Our 365 Everyday Value® and Whole Foods Market™ brand products are sourced to avoid ingredients grown from genetically engineered seed, and our partnership with the Non-GMO Project will enable us to verify and label these products.
We will continue to work aggressively on this issue because we believe that GE food ingredients should be clearly labeled, and that consumers who want to avoid them should have an actionable way to do so. While yesterday’s decision will make our work more difficult, we are as committed as ever to ensuring that non-GE food remains available and we will continue to advocate for our farmers and for our shoppers on this issue.

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218 comments

Comments

Barbra Cohn says …

You say that you are committed to sourcing Whole Foods' store brand products to avoid GE ingredients. Yet, most of your food that is made in-house, (i.e. breads, soups, and other prepared foods) uses non-organic canola oil. Why doesn't Whole Foods offer foods cooked in and baked with canola oil, or use a non-GMO oil such as safflower or sunflower? Almost all non-organic canola oil is genetically modified.

Debbie Rubin says …

"Whole Foods Market advocated strongly for deregulation with restrictions." You have lost this customer. Whole Foods should have stood strong for banning the alfalfa completely. Who doesn't know better than that? Have you seen Monsanto's track record of running USDA? I think so. Was there some sort of Change You Believed In? GMO alfalfa can't contaminate conventional and organic unlike every other GM Crop? Right. Even with restrictions, there would be contamination. It hasn't happened any other way ever! The field trials caused contamination. Every GMO crop released has caused contamination of conventional and organic crops. GMO's and organic can not coexist. GMO will contaminate everything else as it has been proven to do in corn, soy, and rice-- besides increasing the pesticide usage and residue and encouraging weedy resistance. Smooth move. I will never step foot in your stores again. You have had a hand in compromising the entire crop for all of us. I'm so glad I had a chance to get this off my chest. I've been stewing ever since I hrea OCA's email. Thank goodness for OCA.

Kate says …

I trusted you and you caved!!! I will be shopping somewhere where "organic" products are STRONGLY upheld on every level. Hugely disappointed!!!!!!

JoElla Lukehart says …

Chiming in late here, but Hooorah for Whole Foods for at least going to the table to be heard. I didnt see where any of the numerous complainers, most of whom apparently didnt read the whole blog or didnt read it carefully, didn't see any of you carcasses at the table making your voices heard. Seems to me that whole foods went in to make a point, it wasn't an option to ban the GE foods so they went in from their strongest position which was to push for restrictions and protection of non-GE crops. So what if banning wasn't an option-should they have sat on their hands like all you complainers did and done nothing? They went in and tried to make all our voices heard with the parameters that were provided. Thank you Whole Foods for spending the money and making the effort to keep things non-GE. And thanks for the non GE 365 foods. I for one will keep driving 135 miles each way to Omaha to shop at Whole Foods until they get one built here in Des Moines. Complainers...put up or shut up-get off your duffs and make an effort to be heard. Dont wait for others to do it for you and then criticize their efforts.

Alaina says …

All the more reason to grow as much of your own food as possible.

cynthia moon says …

Whole Foods and Stonyfield will no longer get my business. I am not buying your PR. I am going to talk to my friends about your decision to support the coexist of certified organic crops with the genetically engineered Monsanto crops....bad decision and a complete sell-out.

Lauren Hales says …

Sorry about the previous post. Anyway, it was good to read your side of the story. I shop at Whole Foods and I respected the fact it was a natural and organic store. I became concerned when I read the article that was basically calling Whole Foods, StonyField Farms and Organic Valley...traders.

Sad day says …

WFM should refuse to sell foods containing GE/GMO's. Isn't that why we all shop there to begin with? Maybe we should start a Facebook group "whole foods please do not support GE/GMO's". After WFM sees how their consumers react to this then maybe they will stop selling foods made from GE crops.

Andrea Juillerat says …

Even if your defense is true, the fact that your so called "natural" foods aren't that much different than anything else around makes it awfully hard to justify your prices. People are willing to pay more for REAL organic food, not kinda-sorta-mostly organic food. "The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must." - Whole Foods Market, Jan. 21, 2011 This is from you guys right? Sounds like capitulation to me, and while I do appreciate you fighting for some regulations, you failed utterly to win any. In fact, this makes the actual labels "natural" or "organic" pretty worthless, how can we trust them? How can we trust you, the 'BIG organics' to stand strong or at least be honest about the kind of food you sell? I'm sorry, but we are left with only one choice: local co-ops. Our local co-op is expensive, but you are just as expensive! The choice isn't a difficult one to make.

Joanne Wang says …

Is there any way to get public's effort together to stop Monsanto and corrupted FDA and USDA. These two agencies and Monsanto's greedy plot has to be exposed to a bigger public to make know to all US citizens. I believe a big portion of US citizens do not want GMO foods in their kitchen, but lack of the knowlege that they have been fed GMO soy and corn all these time. I'm not aware of the issue until I saw Food Inc, and there are still many many people are not aware of it. There must be a way to maybe cooperate with celebrities to bring this issue to national attention and stop this evil company Monsanto, before it ruins the whole World, and health of generations to come.

ali says …

I've always felt bad about Whole Foods not being pure (you can tell by the prices always ending in .99, the low quality employees who don't even eat health foods, the massive pushing of crap sugar products, etc) and this just proves it further. It's so obvious they are just out for the buck. Shame on WF. Boycott!

Marianne Maunsell says …

A simple question to all you folk out there that are threatening to boycott Wholefoods: where are you gonna shop? cos all foodstores sell products that may contain GMO's. No store labels GMO's, the only way to be sure of GMO free food is where the manufacturers label their own food or buy organic. Rather then attacking the guys who are on our side, we should be trying to persuade companies to remove GMO's and label their products, tell the government to make labeling mandatory and educate ourselves, to make the right choices when buying food etc for ourselves and our families

June Park says …

Well as we have seen in the past, the United States powers that be only care about money, not health or human rights. Please continue to clearly label your foods so I can continue to purchase allergen and GMO free food for my son and daughters. Vote out all incumbents, vote in human rights! Thanks for all you do!

apples says …

@Disappointed and others: This is a very sticky money-lined subject, and you can't expect Whole Foods to have anywhere NEAR the sway of Monsanto. The guy at the USDA that's leading these 'negotiations' is the former governor of Iowa and had his campaign privately funded by Monsanto. All of the organic-minded companies in the world put together do not have the lobby power of Monsanto alone, let alone the whole biotech industry. The USDA people had already made up their minds (or had their minds made up for them), they just invited these companies to come visit for appearances and to make themselves look better, and then some media sites saw this as a good opportunity to poke a jibe at some of the biggest companies in the organic market. I'm not a huge supporter of WFM but I think they got a bad rap on this one. OCA is the PETA of the organic food world. They are extreme, and I think the best way to view the whole situation is with skepticism and wait it out to see what happens. We will be able to tell in time if WFM and the others are going to receive any 'compensation' or whatnot, though I doubt they will. the government isn't good at making promises.

says …

@Donna We cannot speak to the products sold at other grocers. However, we do recommend you do your own homework on the GM products sold at all stores.

Annie Pierce says …

@bianca. Yes, you're right! I was quite surprised to see that Tom Vilsack was appointed Secretary over the Department of Agriculture! Now, their people are in place to consistently remove our CHOICES when it comes to food, health and medical care! Unless WE THE PEOPLE gain the COURAGE to do MORE than just passively complain about this MASSIVE INJUSTICES against our good health, this situation will ONLY GET WORSE! We KNOW the names and faces of the people who are leading these attacks on our food, health and medical freedoms! It's high time that SOMETHING PERMANENT was done to let them know that WE THE PEOPLE are NOT going to LAY DOWN FOR their insatiable greed in trading OUR suffering, death and destruction for DOLLARS! This information just leads me to believe that everybody needs to at least start saving seeds from their VERIFIED organic fruits and vegetables and begin growing their own organic food in their yards, houses, apartments, roofs, wherever you have space, because it's WAR!!!.. and time implement BACK TO BASICS SURVIVAL TACTICS, right now!

Health Freedom says …

The government is so bought off you cannot even trust the USDA organic seal anymore. Such a disgrace to humanity!

Priscilla says …

I understand the extent of lobbying power in DC, and it pains me to see that even large corporations like yourself are dwarfed by companies like Monsanto. In an effort to assist with what I believe is a mutual desire to protest, I say consumers agree to simply make a personal ban on said crops. I personally avoid any product containing soy and corn partly because of this issue. With this knowledge, I will also no longer purchase ANY alfalfa sprouts form here on in. There are many other sprouts we can buy, grow and consume, so if Monsanto wants alfalfa, I do NOT.

Carla says …

WF has brought so much positive into your homes.....how can you be so quick to judge when a solution to this is not currently an option, on such a large scale? They support local farms and even allow them to set up outside in their parking lots during season.......you can't stop the wind from blowing or the wildlife from roaming. That is a major part of cross contamination. Focus on the awareness WF has created. That,s the first step towards progress.

Cherie says …

When forced to pick between deregulation with no restrictions and deregulation with restrictions---there really wasn't a choice. When you lose a battle, there isn't much to do but try and surrender with at least some restrictions and precautions and get as much as you can. The USDA is shoving GMO foods down the throats of Americans. The labeling of these foods is what we really need. If Americans don't want and don't buy GMO contaminated foods, then there is no profit in it for these big companies producing GMO foods and seeds and they will go away. We need to keep pushing for fair labeling of our food and the idea of starting local is a good one. Better yet, if Americans all started growing their own food, buying from small-local organic growers and meat raisers we wouldn't have to buy anything from the stores and would be self reliant. We grow all our own food and can it, jam it, dry it and raise our own meat. We buy locally from others doing the same--they can be trusted. The USDA cannot be trusted to keep our food safe. Eat smart people. Raise it yourself. Then you know what's in your food. It is so simple to grow, harvest and preserve your own food. Learn it now.

Fashion click here says …

Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to mention that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I'll be subscribing for your rss feed and I am hoping you write once more soon!

says …

UPDATE: Whole Foods market has no ties with Monsanto. This is a lingering rumor that came out of some widespread misinformation that the Organic Consumers Association distributed in early 2011. The issue rose when WFM and several others in the organic food industry testified at a congressional hearing in support of farmers’ rights to grow Non-GMOcrops. Because we did not take the exact hard-line stance that the OCA did, they accused of “being in bed with Monsanto,” and the rumor developed further from there. Whole Foods Market has no ties to Monsanto, and did nothave any interaction with the company concerning this or any other issue. For a good description of what really happened, here’s a link to a Washington Post story. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/genetically-modified-crops-get-boost-over-organics-with-recent-usda-rulings/2011/03/10/ABAAWNLB_story.html For those who have heard that Whole Foods Market has been “bought by Monsanto,” a quick trip to our investor relations page on our web site will show that we are a public company.

christy says …

There is no way that I can support Whole Foods, Organic Valley or Stoneyfield anymore. I have been informed on GMO's for years now and as a mother of two young boys I refuse to put my money in the pockets of those who clearly don't see the big picture. We needed your vigilant support to fight for the health of our children and our futures and instead backed down. You are in bed with Monsanto. Shame on you(:

Fresno, CA says …

Thank you for your pioneering and support of non-GMO food. Please keep up the fight! I have printed the NON-GMO food list and will be shopping it and supporting it!!

Annie Pierce says …

The more I think about the fact that they are letting GMO Foods be grown without restrictions, almost insures that neighboring organic crops will be contaminated, leading to lawsuits by Monsanto(see videos)! Seems that WE THE PEOPLE need to DEMAND (or see to it) that ALL the GMO crops be BURNED, to insure that contamination does not occur! I think such an action is warranted, especially when you view video, THE FUTURE OF FOOD, found here... http://www.yournaturalcancercures.com/cancer-diet-3/the-future-of-food, and the research done by Jeffrey M. Smith at http://vimeo.com/6575475 These videos prove without a doubt that WE THE PEOPLE really need to STAND UP for our FREEDOM OF FOOD CHOICE right now, or they will cease to exist!!

Theresa Turner says …

I am committed to shopping almost exclusively at Whole Foods Markets because of its' position on supporting local farms, organic farming, animal wellfare standards, and non-GMO foods supplied to its stores. At every opportunity I sing it's praises, not only to nieghbors, friends and co-workers, but also to countless individuals with whom I come in to contact with on a daily basis as a frontline employee with a major commercial airline. Thank you for the reasurance that I will not be forced to abandon my loyalty to Whole Foods nor will I be compelled to report to those afore mentioned that I was wrong to entrust Whole Foods with the integrity that I extended them. I am confident that Whole Foods will continue to be vigilant in its commitment to refrain from entering into any and all agreements which would condone and therefore promote the sale of Monsanto's GMO crops in its stores.

Daniel Holeman says …

If Whole Foods really wants to do the right thing, they will forget all about co-existence which only seems to mean the increasing spread of Monsanto's power and really take a stand. They don't have to wait for labeling. They can label their own foods as non-GMO right now without waiting for a government OK. And they can simply stop selling any conventionally grown food, as way to ensure they are not GMO, or just as bad, grown with pesticides, herbicides and synthetic oil based fertilizers. Whole Foods made some sort of deal and now they're trying to cover up for it. They put most of the small health and natural food stores out of business or bought them. And over the years, their organic produce has shrunk until most stores have an equal or even larger conventional section. It may be time for a Whole Foods boycott until they put their support for healthy organic food into action instead of merely writing or talking about it. Many Whole Foods stores now look almost exactly like your average supermarket except with higher prices and more processes luxury foods. There has been a definite drift over the past five years. I suppose that's the price of success and high stock prices. But at some point you have to make the decision that you're either for ethics, truth, health and honesty or simply for greed. It would appear Whole Foods has been drifting toward the later. It's the easiest way to go in the US. But a large boycott may help them turn away from the dark side. - Peter Cutler

Rochelle Smith says …

Dear Whole Food, I am sadden by the articles I have read about Whole Foods and Monsantose Corporation. I feel like it is the incorruptable vs. the corruptable. I pray that this will be the only opening given to Monsantose. I hope you will do your research in the future to prevent other GM products transfers. Have a great day! Rochelle Smith

Cassandra Amesley says …

Thanks for fighting on this. Does this mean there'll be no point in buying "100% grass-fed beef" after next spring? I'm feeling gloomy about ever getting a healthy diet living in the United States.

says …

@Cassandra In this case, the best thing to do is buy organic beef. Our Organic Suppliers source the non GMO alfalfa wherever they can find it since this is one of the requirements for organic.

Nataly says …

I see many people here are upset with WFM. I wonder, if you people want to change things in GE foods arena, then why don't you? Why Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stony Field Farms are fighting this by themselves? I have just found out the details of it and I am sure there are many people out there, who do not even know about it. Is there any way to make this public to see, if there are enough people who cares to make a difference? Aren't we THE PEOPLE? Monsanto goes out of it's way to get united with like-minded companies, organizations, political forces, etc. They know where the power is. Shouldn't we do the same? If we will not be getting together on this and still be each in our corner, as we are, how in the world we think we can win this battle? Monsanto is a huge company with billions. And let me add, billions made on us, the people, buying their products. Where are they going to get this money, if no one will buy what they have to offer? We, the people, like to think that there will always be someone else out there fighting for what we need. We are quick to judge and to require. But slow and unsure, when it comes to us doing something. We already have air that we can not breathe, food that we can not eat, ocean that we can not swim in, children with diseases never seen before. What will it take for people to feel like it is "enough" and to be willing to put in effort into changing it?

Michelle Cohen says …

I am so relieved to hear the story behind the story. I was about to boycott WF when I read the OCA's article. So important to check out the information you read before you take any action!

says …

@Ted Please read our responses posted above. Also, I have sent you an email containing information about the media rumors that have been circulating.

Frank Falconer says …

The fact that GE foods are being slyly fed into our communities is very disappointing? Education is a key component to this issue and the main way to directly educate consumer is through labeling. This forces the farming community to as one more label to their packaging. The fact is using Genetic Modifications (GM) to combat pesticides like “round up” is taking farming down the wrong path all together. It should be banned. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 70% of the pollution in our rivers and streams come from traditional farming. The answer is not combating pesticides and altering the genetics of the plants. The answer is creating new urban farming concepts that are better for the environment. Companies like FusionPharm Inc (www.fusionpharminc.com) operate on 20% of the water equivalent of traditional farming, require no pesticides, and are a closed loop system. This equates to no run‐off of harmful wastewater pollutants entering rivers or streams, creating a more environmentally‐friendly solution to farming. What’s the end result? A cleaner environment and healthier non-GM produce being infused into our communities.

Deborah says …

I thank Whole Foods for existing, and using its own funds to fight the battles, on behalf of consumers, against the USDA-Monsanto types. Whole Foods is my favorite food store and, for the past few years, my only food store. From: A loyal customer.

Donna Souza says …

I was told by the workers at Trader Joe's that they do not sell GM foods and that all products they sell are checked out to be of the highest quality.

Fishguy says …

Your position seems rational and nuanced, but the problem is that short of growing GE crops in bio-domes, with contained bee populations, it is nearly impossible to avoid cross-pollination. At the very least, what Whole Foods has done by taking this position (along with organic-food-producing-giant Cascadian Farms), was to "move to the center", taking at least SOME of the pressure off the USDA to keep tight controls on this technology. I am disappointed.

Bruce Alan says …

When it comes to money, power I don't trust anybody including whole foods. They might of started out with good intentions but now that have gotten so big, they now have to bargain with companies like Monsanto to stay in business. Let's look at this with some common sense. Monsanto genetically engineers seeds that will not dye when sprayed with Monsanto product roundup, but what is bad for us is it kills humans and animals, caused cancer and many other problems. And what is worse, it palutes the earth so nothing other than Monsanto Genetically engineered seeds will grow (all our egges in one basket comes to mind). Monsanto and the USDA says this is not true, roundup will not hurt anybody, it is biodegradele and not harmful to humans. I wonder why cancer is a a all time high even thought we put trillions world wide and more reasearch sientists working on it. Remember years ago when congress brought in the heads of the tobacco companies and asked each of them if tobacco was harmful and addictive and each one said No? Who you going to trust. All the organic farms that are now closed down because of monsanto and our government. They are not going after the omish farmers. If a GE seed or pollen happens to get into a organic farm, mosanto can shut them down and take any profits they made for previous years. This is now a law. Until I see proof that none of your foods are GM or contaminated by GM, i will shop at my local farmers markets where i can go see for myself.

Daniel Holeman says …

Whole Foods can stop spending time and effort trying to make themselves look better than they are and use that time and money to become better than they are. Take a Stand. OCCUPY USDA!!!! Stand for HEALTH, not WEALTH!!!

mrmatt says …

No longer shopping at whole foods. Will WF prices drop as their standards do? Their basis of premium pricing seems to NOT EXIST.

Marcy says …

Thank you so much for your continued efforts. It takes courage and compassion. I'm grateful for your work.

Daniel Holeman says …

You are acting as if you were unjustly targeted by OCA. You are multi-billion dollar company. OCA is getting more done than you and they are operating on a few thousand dollars budget. You deserve the attacks because you have not done enough to fight the USDA. Put some of your profits to good use! Fight the USDA! They are working for Monsanto. You must know that. You definitely put profits above people. They stopped having Raw Milk in our whole foods as they were afraid of legal fights. You may has well just call yourselves Safeway! Where are your principles?! Whole Foods sells out health for profit, end of story.

Debby Shapiro says …

I understand your postition and your claims. To completely support it why dont you voluntarily intorduce GMO free, or contains GMO labling. Be the first to do it. Otherwise I doubt your sincerity. Sincerely Debby Shapiro, regular Whole Foods Customer who is looking elsewhere to shop

Ted B says …

You lost me as a customer. I will never spend another penny at your stores even if that means going to multiple stores to get my shopping done. You are now part of the problem, I hope to see WF crash and burn. you've sold your integrity, hope it was worth it.

Joe Riante says …

"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" I've been a Whole Foods customer since 1990. I have successfully battled diseases that many people have died from. I have cured myself by consuming specific (fresh and organic only) foods, juices and probiotics, along with a variety of non-food chemical-free products, all purchased under one-roof, at Whole Foods Markets, which I depend upon to remain healthy and cancer-free. Suffice it to say, if it weren't for Whole Foods Market, I would probably be dead. With that said, and in reference to the above quote ... One cannot hold Sociopaths accountable for anything because they don't have the ability to take responsibility for their actions ... not even on their best day. People who do not have a conscience lack a moral compass. They do not have the ability to respond or to react responsibly. The ability simply isn't there. To them, laws and regulations are a game ... a game that they must win. This is what defines them and this is why they are called sociopaths. They band together because, well, power is in numbers. They are hell-bent on controlling the world's food supply. I am not a pessimist - I am a realist. Thanks for your efforts, but sorry to say, realistically, I think we are somewhere between doomed and screwed.

Tiffany Villarreal says …

Thank you Whole Foods for fighting the 'evil giant' Monsanto for so long, with your own funds. I'm saddened to read that during this day and age, when people are only becoming MORE aware of their food choices, that this is still happening. That companies with ethical standards and guidelines are still being 'bullied' into complying with companies (and USDA unfortunately) who do not share these respectful qualities. We will still purchase our ORGANIC, NON-GMO foods from your store, and have SIGNED THE PETITION to President Obama, pointing out the grave error made in this decision, this strong arming of a reputable company. Please continue your efforts for your consumers. We love the Whole Foods ideals and values and hope to see more decisions made in the right direction, non-GMO, organic farming support, and for the people who shop here. Thank you.

Caroline says …

For those of you who think that Whole Foods isn't doing enough to support Non-GMO crops, please write or call your Congress people and get invovled with organizations like the Non-GMO Project. Whole Foods can't do all the work for an entire nation. Put your energy to good use and get active in the cause.

Tony says …

What a disappointment. I shopped at WF because of the quality of the produce. It's only due time when all of our produce will be GE or GMO. Sure it's alfalfa; but it will spread to everything. Nice job giving into the "man".

marcie says …

What I am confused about is what does the USDA have to do with whether or not you sale Non GMO? How can the USDA tell a grocery store they have to sale GMO foods? I'm so confused by this, please shed some light.

says …

@Marcie The USDA regulates how foods have to be labeled and what information those foods must share with the customer. This allows suppliers to "lie by omission." If WFM does not know there are GMOs in food then it becomes that much harder to fight against them.

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