Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

458 Comments

Comments

Michelle says ...
I am thankful that you're addressing this issue. In the health food industry, I think it's important to educate the public about GMOs, even if your business can't take on the Goliath Monsanto company. For 8 years, I worked in a like-minded health food store. The CEO stated, (in an ill-placed joke) "Monsanto? We love them. They give us a great deal on corn!" Obviously, the company I worked for and believed in had changed. I quit my job there a few months later. I understand that GMOs are everywhere, and it would be difficult to have a store that excluded all products containing GMO ingredients. I am proud of your company for the fact that you stand behind GMO-labeling and at least seem conscious of the implications the GMO take-over would have on the food supply, on your business, and on the health food industry as a whole.
02/02/2012 11:18:30 AM CST
Samoan says ...
Thanks for the detailed explanations.
02/02/2012 11:21:05 AM CST
Caryl says ...
This states what Whole Foods didn't or hasn't done, but what DID WF do with regards to Monsanto. Please state the entire story so that the information you ate providing is clear. I have many friends and neighbors who work in the corporate offices of Whole Foods - in Austin. I shop at the mother ship store no less than 8-10 times A WEEK. If you can't be completely truthful about what's going on I can't give you my money. There is a certain responsibility that WF has to its customers- from the food and goods that you sell and what you claim is in them and not and where they come from - in reality WF is no different than any other chain of grocery stores. With the acceptions of your prices over theirs. I am 100% willing to pay more for organic, clean, healthy, chemically free food. Prove you haven't made a deal with the devil. Until then, farmers markets here I come. Peace.
02/02/2012 11:52:40 AM CST
Brian S says ...
When I fist heard of this back in 2010, I was shocked. I've been in the anti-GMO movement for well over 15 years and this "news" took me aback for a moment. I had been a shopper at Whole Foods for a very long time and I could not believe my ears. Now, being one to research the hell out of EVERYTHING to the n'th degree, I decided to hold judgment until I was able to do a massive amount of research on this, however, and this is a very big however… I could best describe how this hit me as though, let's say, you're in a 30 year relationship with a woman/man, and you hear from a best friend of that person that your love has been cheating on you. While deep in your heart of hearts, you know this may not be true, it still hits you like a freight train and it's THAT very point where, if you don't get some proof over a set period of time that the message is not true, it will, then, be accepted as truth to a degree of varying measure. Therefore, Whole Foods, I have to be honest with you, I put much of the blame on you for this rumor metastasizing into an almost malignant tumor, and here's why (and I can say this confidently because I've been in Advertising & Marketing for 20 years with big firms around the PR industry, so I know a thing or two about how PR works): 1: I had not seen one iota of fight from you when this rumor first started, and it was WIDELY publicized, so there's no way you could not have known about it, especially since you posted that letter from your CEO on your website immediately afterwards. 2: Knowing that you knew this rumor had started, you didn't do ANY massive outreach against this rumor OR GMO's on a national level, no media, no TV, no radio, no social media; WF did nothing big to thwart this. 3: Knowing that you spend a lot of money on your marketing, I can only blame you that you didn't realize that something like this would grow into a massive tumor. Whomever your marketing and PR people are, and even management, I'd fire them for not stepping up and fighting to make this a TOP priority on your agenda for smashing the rumor. 4: Still, as of this point, you've done nothing major to thwart this, and again, simply post a letter on your website. Whole Foods, you started your business son the notion that eating healthy is a way of life to be followed, and this should be your time to stand up and fight harder than ever to prove that, a flurry of punches is coming your way, yet you're running to the corner of the ring in hopes that the opponent will simply give up. You could come out on top and be the bastion of health & wellness, or you can be that wimpy guy who walks around and receives compliments for even stepping into the ring, but behind your back the whisperings & chuckles of getting your rear end beat into oblivion. WF, you've lost a lot in your thinking that this would "just go away" and that the truth would show it's face. People don't want the truth, that's why they watch reality TV, reality to most is whatever they are told it is. So tell it, tell it truthfully, tell it powerfully, and be forthright in doing so! You have everything to gain and nothing to lose, except dollars, which are really worth nothing, after-all.
02/02/2012 11:53:49 AM CST
jay says ...
what about the labeling on the "organic" asparagus, in the frozen section that has certified organic on it, with the made in china label on it, and the other label telling us it was certified by an outside company? there was a news story and they called your outside company and they said they cant certify products from china. Did you just stop putting made in china on the other vegetables, or did you stop sourcing from china on the other 365 labeled products?
02/02/2012 11:57:19 AM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Jay Currently the only item we source organically from China are the 365 Organic Edamame. However, since we love to offer options, we also provide our customers with American sourced organic edamame, as well.
02/02/2012 11:58:37 AM CST
Cynthia Clemente says ...
I do not believe in the above rumors. The moment I see it in facebook..i hide it or deleted the posting. Whole Foods mission statement includes feeding the world with healthy food...how can Whole Foods be in the same sentence as Monsanto, which alter the natural food with GMO? I thin the people from Monsanto themselves are starting this ridiculous rumor.
02/02/2012 12:09:48 PM CST
Becky Cortino says ...
TY for this update and putting this misinformation to rest. I can't imagine how anyone could think GMO/Monsanto buyout was true, with the Whole Foods' company philosophy and approach. I think the greater good will be served when we all focus our efforts on GMO-labeling issues. Glad to know more about Whole Foods' Non-GMO Project verification program -- thank you! Standing for truth in labeling http://www.JustATasteHurts.com
02/02/2012 12:26:16 PM CST
Reese says ...
So, to be clear, you have always carried products that contain GMOs because they are so widespread, yes? And I have to point out that just because something is registered with the Non-GMO project doesn't mean it doesn't contain GMO's, it can mean the company is committed to taking steps in that direction is all, yes? So your 365 products are sourced to avoid GMO's but you were not clear as to whether or not they actually contain them. It sounds like you don't entirely know and it's totally possible.
02/02/2012 12:58:23 PM CST
Charla says ...
Everyone is a critic and so quick to tell you what you should or should not do. I just want to say Thank You for clarifying the truth behind these rumors. Keep up the good work you are doing. We love to shop at Whole Foods and will continue to do so knowing that your goal is in line with our goals for safe, healthy food choices.
02/02/2012 12:58:57 PM CST
kamila says ...
What I believe is that they are products that Whole Foods carry that contain GMO, that is why they recommend to buy organic which by law can't carry GMO.
02/02/2012 1:11:05 PM CST
Lisa says ...
To be clear ~ the 365 value brand (non-organic) products DO NOT have GMOs. The product I am specifically thinking of is the cheese puffs (which are corn-based).
02/02/2012 1:15:17 PM CST
L Baugh says ...
Thanks so much.
02/02/2012 1:39:02 PM CST
Adam says ...
85% of Whole Foods sales are NOT organic, yet they still charge a "premium" price as if they were. The average person mistakes "natural" for "organic". You bank off of this misconception. This is one reason why people are not happy with Whole Foods. The other reason (which you did not address), is the fact that you have announced that your support for "co-existence" between GMO and organic food. This is the reason why people are upset, not any of the rumors you mentioned. Any well-informed individual knows that there can never be co-existence with organic and GMO because GMO crops destroy organic crops. GMO crops cross-pollinate with organic. The herbicides and pesticides like Round Up destroy organic crops. It also destroys soil, rendering farmland useless. Address the real issue, which is that Whole Foods gave their approval of GMOs. This is essentially standing aside and allowing Monsanto to swoop in and rid the world of organic food. But what does Whole Foods care if 85% of their food is non-organic? When there is no more organic food, they will just label everything "natural" and keep charging a premium price as if it were organic, just like the Fresh Market and other "green" food stores.
02/02/2012 1:46:36 PM CST
paig292 says ...
@Lisa It's best to check the list of Non-GMO products for your stores. All of our 365 Everyday Value products are enrolled with the Non-GMO Project and many have already received their verfication. Other products take more time for the Non-GMO Project to do their verification work. I'm asking specifically about the cheese puffs and will let you know what I find out. Enter your store info on this page http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/ then scroll down the left navigation to the "Non-GMO Verified Products List." Thanks.
02/02/2012 2:02:07 PM CST
mom said says ...
Thanks for the post and clearing the air. I'll share your info.
02/02/2012 2:03:12 PM CST
paig292 says ...
@Adam An outright ban on GE alfalfa 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. We encourage you to follow the links in the post to learn more.
02/02/2012 2:12:14 PM CST
renaldoo says ...
what is inaccurate about this post: "@ Lisa You are incorrect. Many Wholefoods 365 products contain GMOs. It is only a very small minority of Whole Foods and 365 products that are labeled GMO free. The rest ARE NOT GMO free."
02/02/2012 3:18:57 PM CST
Tony says ...
Now Whole Foods knows what its like to be on the end of these false rumors that they themselves have previously perpetuated - serves them right. Keep charging more for yoru food - it makes nice profist and the rich and so called elite are stupid enough to pay for it
02/02/2012 3:21:43 PM CST
Teresa Roberts says ...
I am NOT assuaged. The article link provided doesn't even mention Whole Foods. It does however contain this quote: "Sharon Bomer, an executive vice president at Biotechnology Industry Organization, said “there is deep appreciation” in the GE industry for the need to minimize the spread of the crops. She said organic farmers must protect their crops. 'The burden is on them,' she said." Whole Foods should not be condoning "co-existence" with GMO foods and allowing them to "put the burden" on the organic farmers they are driving out of business with their biopiracy and lawsuits. Like the government of Hungary, we should be burning GMO fields and plowing them under.
02/02/2012 3:32:49 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Teresa Please read the above responses from Paige Brady.
02/02/2012 3:37:57 PM CST
paig292 says ...
@renaldoo We have sourced to avoid GMOs for many years in our 365 products. Non-GMO Project verification is a formal way of verifying this commitment. Simply because a product is in the middle of the verification process does not mean that it contains GMOs. Have you looked at a list of the Non-GMO products in our stores? The 10 page list of products in our Austin store seems more than a "small minority." http://wholefoodsmarket.com/specialdiets/SW_LMR_Non_GMO_Verified_Products.pdf
02/02/2012 3:39:51 PM CST
Stacy says ...
This makes me so happy! Keep the GMO out of our food supply! I went into my local Whole Food's today and asked these questions as I saw an article that made me sick, and the man in the produce department was very helpful and explained to me that the story was completely false! SO glad to know that we can still count on you Whole Food's for clean food!
02/02/2012 5:06:43 PM CST
K Hiatt says ...
"Rumor No. 3: Whole Foods Market recently decided to start selling food with GMOs." "Wrong again! As long as GMO crops have been in this country, GMOs have been in the US food supply." When you deny that you haven't recently decided to sell GMO foods, does that mean you've been selling them all along since they've always been in the food supply? Aren't you just denying that the decision was made recently? Does Whole foods sell GMO products or not? That's what people want to know...
02/02/2012 5:12:40 PM CST
Carla says ...
I am glad to read this and get a clear statement from Whole Foods themselves. I support Whole Foods even if I have to cut out other luxuries in order to continue to afford a wholesome lifestyle for myself and my family. We travel almost weekly (sometimes Every two weeks) a little over an hour just to get to Whole Foods. So hearing this makes it all the more worth the waste in gas, time, money, and of course our dedication to shop there...
02/02/2012 5:38:22 PM CST

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