Whole Story

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Why I'm Voting for Prop 37

By Walter Robb, November 5, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Walter Robb

I've been in the grocery business for more than 30 years. Since I opened my first store in Weaverville, California in 1977, I've talked to customers about everything from diet choices to recipes to organic gardening. Over that time I've had the opportunity to see firsthand what Whole Foods Market customers want­ is information about the food they're buying.

GMO labeling is standard practice in 50 other countries around the world, including Japan, China, Russia, and across Europe. Foods containing GMOs are produced and labeled at little or no extra cost, we know it can be done without seeing food costs go up.

I support Prop 37 because I believe that our customers have the right to know how their food is sourced, grown and produced. I see this as a fundamental right - the right to know and the right to choose freely based on that knowledge. Prop 37 is an important and historic first step forward for transparency on GMOs in our food system.

Prop 37 is our chance to stand for greater transparency and the customer's right to know what is in their food. While it is not a perfect instrument, it is on the right side of history and I am voting yes.

Category: Food Issues, GMOs




Amber says ...
Right on Walter! Much love from Redwood City Ca!! Keep fightin that good fight#knowledge
11/05/2012 5:51:56 PM CST
Kristian Feher says ...
Glad to see someone in your position standing up for our rights!!
11/05/2012 11:06:22 PM CST
Manny says ...
WOW... Walter and all others communication is Awesome and just a Great example of Knowledge!!!
11/06/2012 9:33:58 AM CST
Jeff Bryan says ...
Great points Walter! As a Whole Foods Team Member, lifelong Californian also, and longtime vegan, I'm right there with you, let get this prop passed, and make it easier for people in California to know what they're paying for and eating! I personally would like to eliminate ALL GMO foods from my diet, as much as possible, and this mandatory labelling will definitely help, if passed! Thank you! Everyone please Vote Yes on 37!!!
11/06/2012 4:20:10 PM CST
Jeanmarie says ...
Walter - Thanks for the continued efforts in this area. So Prop 37 didn't pass -- but I wanted to tell you that I'm committed to voting with my dollars. Please continue to stock the shelves with the NON GMO Project labels. I will now ONLY buy these products that are choosing to self label their products for transparency. Thanks much for all your efforts in this area -- you guys are great. jb
11/08/2012 10:28:18 AM CST
Mike Feinstein, Santa Monica says ...
I am curious if the natural foods store community is looking at changing its purchasing patterns after we saw which companies that sell healthy products opposed Prop 37. http://www.naturalnews.com/Infographic-Natural-Brands-Betray-Consumers.html Of course many of us will be boycotting those products individually. But as you know, the actions we take collectively are much stronger. Think of what a statement it would be if Whole Foods stopped carrying brands from companies that opposed Prop 37.
11/08/2012 12:27:15 PM CST
Justin says ...
That's great that you enthusiastically support prop 37. So why no donation towards the campaign from whole foods? This prop lost because the opposition vastly outspent the support. Whole foods contributed nothing. Whole foods probably could have single handedly saved this proposition, but chose not to. Perhaps it is because they sell GMO food! http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/11/why-californians-must-vote.html
11/08/2012 1:35:07 PM CST
Roxanne Green says ...
I just recently found out what GMO foods are all about and am angry with our FDA for not even notifying us about these foods and using us and our children as lab rats without our knowledge. I have switched over to organic everything and am emailing as many of the food companies as possible to find out if they are using GMO foods in their products. Surprisingly enough they are honestly answering they are. I am thanking them for their honesty and then telling them I can no longer in good conscience eat their products or feed them to my family. I am all for labeling and would be all for stopping the production of these foods if that is ever an option. By the way, I have not been able to find fresh organic corn anywhere lately including your store. Is it because everyone has bought it all or is it because it is hard to find?
11/21/2012 2:54:50 PM CST
Jacqueline says ...
Please explain what is GMO? I have other questions and concerns; I don't know who to address my questions, please e-mail me with directions.
11/24/2012 10:08:08 PM CST
teknozen says ...
Walter, I am glad to see that you supported Prop 37 and our right to know what we are consuming. Meanwhile, I want to ask you, Should Whole Foods be selling the products of companies that spent fortunes to stop consumers from knowing if GMO is in their food? As a longtime stockholder, I say NO! The following brands are owned by these companies that have bitten the hands that feed them. Should Whole Foods be dropping these brands from its stores? Naked Juice, Izze Juice, Back to Nature, Cascadia Farm, Muir Glen, Larabar, Honest Tea, Odwalla, Simply Orange, Lightlife, Alexia, Kashi, Gardenburger, Morning Star Farms, R.W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organic, Ben & Jerry's, Horizon Organic, Silk. Thank you for listening.
12/08/2012 8:12:32 PM CST
Ralph McClellan says ...
I am a very good customer of Whole Foods. My wife and I shop daily at Whole Foods for our family of seven. The dangers of GMO have been greatly ignored by the growers and by the government. The least we can expect is to have GMO food labelling so that we have a choice.
01/06/2013 9:00:12 PM CST
Richard Lake says ...
11 billion and you only donated $25,000? Are you kidding me? As customer that ONLY shops at your stores, you are entrusted by me and my fellow shoppers to look out for us. You are in the unique position of taking the billions we spend on your business and using this astronomical sum of money for our best interests. TAKE CARE OF YOUR PEOPLE!!! Shame on you!
01/25/2013 10:59:33 AM CST
Alice Powers says ...
I readily agree with you and see the need for an upfront choice for the consumer by labeling. As long as "we the people" paying the bills (federal and state inspectors salaries, food purchases that sustain farming) do not voice an opinion - change will not come. A more pro-active approach might be whats needed by Whole Foods. Get your customers at the check-out registers to voice their opinion through a direct donation and e-mail sent to local Congressional offices stating the desire for labeling with each donation. A similar program is run through grocery chains for school equipment, ect. (I have often felt that on a larger scale...World Hunger could be curtailed if we all made just a small donation as we buy our groceries...we could help others...this is just a bit off the subject...but appreciate the forum) Thanks ever so much for your great idea of a healthier way of shopping...it has saved my family's well-being!
02/07/2013 6:56:35 PM CST
sissy says ...
I'm an avid consumer of whole foods products and probably have convinced a lot of people to became consumers also. I WAS SAD and shocked to see that WHOLE Foods is NOT funding prop 37. That means Whole Foods has not donated any money to support prop 37. http://www.kcet.org/news/ballotbrief/elections2012/propositions/prop-37-funding-genetically-engineered-food.html
07/12/2013 9:23:40 PM CDT
Princess says ...
I don't want GMO in my food.
10/02/2014 8:10:17 AM CDT
Don says ...
I have requested that all my family members (32 now) avoid all GMO's. While I enjoyed your posted position above I was amazed by your lack of contribution dollars in support of Prop 37. The public is quickly becoming more aware. Labeling is need at a minimum. At this point I think WF could win everyones business based on your efforts in providing its customers with options for non-GMO products, non-GMO feed beef, poultry etc. and that are humanely (non-factory) raised and slaughtered.
01/17/2015 4:25:44 PM CST