Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

217 Comments

Comments

M.B. McMorran says ...
Whole fools, You caved, pure and simple. You will never get another dollar from me; I promise. GMO can co-exist with organic? What a crock. You're history in my book. Sleep well, and terminally. Same for Organic Valley. P.U.! -Blair
01/29/2011 12:28:59 AM CST
Alison says ...
Wholefoods... your decision confuses and dismays me so. Even if you felt that hope was lost for an outright GMO ban in Washington, out of principle you could have done nothing. But you instead decided to ENDORSE coexistance. On such a critical issue why would you take a step in the wrong direction just to take a step?
01/29/2011 7:08:23 AM CST
Holly says ...
Whole Foods, almost all of your prepared foods contain canola oil. When I've asked employees about whether or not it's non-GMO, they don't know. One employee showed me the bottle which said nothing about being organic or non-GMO. I would think there would be signs or distinctions made to publicly declare your prepared foods do not contain GMO canola.
01/29/2011 7:54:53 AM CST
paig292 says ...
@Jennifer This is a new post with new comments. Maybe you are referring to the post from 1/21 on this same topic -- all of the comments are still on that one.
01/28/2011 7:00:34 PM CST
paig292 says ...
@Dissappointed We have a moderated comment queue so you won't see your comments immediately. Also, we moderate sporadically after normal working hours and over the weekend since those are non-work times for us. Thanks.
01/28/2011 6:30:31 PM CST
Vanessa says ...
Whole Foods has supported cutting a deal for "coexistence" with Monsanto, but this means allowing contamination, this means allowing organic to no longer mean organic (if it still does). When this deregulation occurs Monsanto's genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa, it is guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil. And Whole Foods is not fighting the fight that supports the health and well being of the nation, they are making deals!
01/29/2011 10:28:18 AM CST
Rosalie Bate says ...
I have become aware of the 365 label used in frozen vegetables grown in China. How can you be sure they are organic?
01/29/2011 10:31:41 AM CST
Jacqueline says ...
A letter to Whole Foods Market: Dear Whole Foods, I read your article entitled "Urgent Action Needed to Support Organics and Non-GE Crops" and subsequently the one on this page. I'm one of the people who question why you're endorsing the coexistence option. I don't think that other consumer groups have misunderstood you as you believe. I think they understand you and all other so called organic organizations who support coexistence all too well. I’m not even sure where to begin or which article to refer to. Since they're both very similar and state the same issues how about a comment on your statement “We supported a path of coexistence, not because it’s a perfect path, but because it’s the only viable path that would ensure our ongoing ability to provide non-GMO foods” Really? The only viable path? How about YOUR only viable path. Those of us who are willing to go further than Whole Foods can find other paths that don’t require throwing in the towel like Whole Foods has done. “We did not believe that a complete ban of GE alfalfa or any crop is an option that the USDA would even consider supporting, nor was it even an option” Of course the USDA wouldn’t consider the option of a complete ban, it doesn’t make them any money. But it is an option YOU should have considered, whether you're at the table or not. Here’s another nugget I’d like to address: “Our options were to have a seat at the table (and support coexistence) or to not be represented at all” Says who?! Since when do Americans not have an option to be represented? Throughout history protesters have rarely had “a seat at the table”. So they created their own table. Out on the streets, having their voices heard by the masses. And Finally: “This does not mean that we have anything to do with big biotech or that we support their agenda” But you don’t realize that that’s exactly what it means. You’re willing to give in just to have a seat at THEIR table. In closing, I’m just floored that after your decision to support “the USDA’s historic approach considering deregulation with conditions” (as you state in your original article) you had the nerve to entitle that article “Urgent Action Needed to Support Organics and Non-GE Crops”, boasting your integrity and stating how angry you are and how fervently you believe “farmers have a right to grow foods without fear of contamination from others’ GE crops”. You should have just done the decent thing: bowed your heads in shame, called the article “We Give In…” and stated your reasons for giving in at the beginning of the article and be done with it. Not save your reasoning for several paragraphs into the article and then have the audacity to ask your loyal customers (did you ask or demand with exclamation points?) to contact our government and tell them that “True COEXISTENCE is a must”. Thank you, but no, thank you. I will not be pressured into coexisting with a monster company like Monsanto or its likeness. When I saw Whole Foods Markets cropping up everywhere, with larger and larger stores I was excited. I thought, finally! more natural and organic foods that are close by and in bigger quantities and selections! But it wasn’t lost on me that getting “bigger” for a company with integrity, like Whole Foods, can be a dangerous thing. Are they going to get so big that they go the way all other companies do when they expand? Are they going to eventually give in to the pressure of Big Pharma, Big Bio and Big Agro? Well, I guess it did happen. Only sooner than I would have expected. Shame on you, Whole Foods and all the other organic organizations who've given in. I guess "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" will be your new mantra. Or should I say, "If you can't beat 'em, regulate them POORLY so that inevitably they'll contaminate all organics seeds, just as they planned". Signed, A Once Loyal Customer
01/29/2011 10:59:45 AM CST
Don't Stock IT! says ...
Dear Whole Foods, Prove that you DO NOT Support GMO Foods! Don't Label it in your store! JUST Don't SELL IT! As your Customers...... We Pay you to give us Healthy Products........ WE Insist that you do not carry any food products that have any traces of GMO. You really want to fight GMO stop buying it, and selling it to us..... Label or no Label! And you could have Fought, but instead you capitulated to the share holders and bottom line! you forget that we the people have the power, if we don't buy....you don't exist. Lets see if you post this on your board! Disappointed, and betrayed!
01/29/2011 11:52:15 AM CST
Alyssa DeRonne says ...
YOU STILL COULD SELL LOCAL ORGANIC IF YOUR CORPORATION WASN'T SO MONEY HUNGRY. I AM EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED IN WHOLE FOODS.
01/29/2011 12:21:42 PM CST
deborah cady says ...
I note in your Board of Directors mission, and in your store mission, there is no statement dedicating to upholding standards for organic produce, nor to transparency in labeling. However, your advertisements and articles lead one to believe that you do care greatly about organic quality and availability. You realize that without requirements for GMO planting, all agricultural land will eventually become polluted with GMO material because of drift. I find that your most recent decision to consciously not fight for a favorable USDA outcome and to throw in with Monsanto simply cannot be justified. Your words are empty. Already I've approached a small health food shop to develop a greater store capacity for organic produce. In the meantime, they are quite happy to special order items I formerly bought at WFM. They were happy to hear Whole Foods had acquiesced to the easier road.
01/29/2011 12:41:54 PM CST
Julene Allen says ...
I read the article in the Huffington Post how WF has surrendered to Monsanto Corp and will allow GMO foods to be sold in its stores. Until GMO foods are clearly labeled they have no business whatsoever being sold in a WF store. It's one thing for Safeway to bow to the devil that is Monsanto, but for WF to do it is the height of hypocrisy. You are no different than Monsanto. You care far more about profits than about the health of your patrons or the planet. Until you stop selling GMO foods in your store or until they are clearly labeled I will be boycotting WF. We were counting on you to have the backbone to stand up to them but clearly the consumers will have to take up the fight because you are too greedy or cowardly to do it. I am certain you won't post my comment because it's bad for your image, but trust me: I am getting the word out to everyone I know and you are wrong if you think your customers are going to take this lightly. Shame on you.
01/29/2011 1:25:19 PM CST
Dana says ...
This is disgusting, albeit, not surprising from a company who overcharges so much, for their products. Come on, this response to the GE alfalfa is pathetic. Obviously, you really could care less about the issue, and just assume your clientele will overlook or resist boycotting your stores. Your response is so wishy-washy, that I'd bet you already have GMO within your hot food items, heck you already use hydrolyzed vegetable protein and yeast extract in many of these items. HVP and yeast extract are just cover up names for glutamic acid aka MSG. So the HVP is made from non GMO vegetables before it is processed into this chemical? I highly doubt that! Anyway, from your response, the feeling I was left with was a sort of "half-assed" pledge to prohibit GMO. I won't be shopping at WF anymore!
01/29/2011 2:46:21 PM CST
Marc says ...
I'm sure that WF has already engaged a crisis-management PR firm to create a media and response strategy for this, but I'll add some advice to the mix. This is a transformational and statement-making opportunity for WF. Using this crisis to create a new policy embracing complete and utter transparency would send a universally powerful signal to all of the stakeholders in this debate. For example, you should publish the names of the independent third party certifiers hired in China, Vietnam and other markets (especially those that have perceived reputation issues like China) used to verify your USDA Organic claims. QAI should also be encouraged to maintain a publicly available database of these since they are allowing you to use their label on your foods and are thus liable for any findings otherwise by the FTC or other watchdogs regarding green marketing claims, let alone organic certification claims. I would recommend doing this BEFORE a court order or subpoena for the same info due to some class-action lawsuit "on behalf of customers that were mislead" that is bound to be started by an opportunistic law firm. This kind of information is not truly strategic or competitive and the upside of revealing your network of third party auditors would outweigh any potential loss of proprietary trade secrets. This goes a long way to also preventing similar stories to emerge like the WJLA piece (i.e. hopefully 60 Minutes doesn't decide to do a story). This of course would apply to local providers as well. Finally, regarding the "we didn't have a choice" position adopted so far... yeah, not such a good PR strategy. You need to approach this from a position of openness, transparency, empathy and strength, not a weak position of victimization. It doesn't encourage confidence in your loyal customers, let alone passionate non-GMO advocates. They are looking for you to lead, not follow. Re-stating your long history of pioneering and supporting organic is not going to cut it, you need to show a willingness to use your purchasing power to demand integrity to your brand values on behalf of your customers.
01/29/2011 3:55:05 PM CST
Bernadette Clark says ...
Thank you for being a champion of non-GMO food sources. I believe this type of food is unsustainable and will fail in the future. It will fail nutritionally and continue to ravage the land, due to the irresponsible use of pesticides. I believe that all labels should have complete transparency as to how the food has been grown. This is the only fair way the consumer can make an educated choice for themselves and their family
01/29/2011 4:16:33 PM CST
C&M says ...
I am with Vanessa "Whole Foods has supported cutting a deal for “coexistence” with Monsanto, but this means allowing contamination, this means allowing organic to no longer mean organic (if it still does)." How can we believe in organic food and you, when you arent fighting for it... Because your CEOs are friends with their CEO... thats crap. I am ashamed in you and you should be ashamed of yourself. You, as a company, pride yourself on being the leader in natural and organic food, yet you bow down to these people as if you had some hidden agenda. I WAS proud of you and what you ad done for the food industry. But not this. Not in a million years. You are saying it is okay to contaminate our ground, our water, our plants, and essentially me! And THAT, I am not okay with.
01/29/2011 4:23:29 PM CST
paig292 says ...
If you've read the recent letter from the OCA we highly encourage you <a href="http://www.nongmoproject.org/2011/01/29/team-organic-will-never-surrender-to-monsanto-now-we-continue-the-fight-together/" rel="nofollow">to read this as well. It's a wonderful response </a>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.
01/28/2011 5:30:36 PM CST
Jeff says ...
The whole idea of "essentially" chemical companies now parading as food companies is repulsive. Whole Foods Markets needs to wake up to the fact that the only thing that sets you apart is a philosophy and dedication to the idea that "Organic" is the only sustainable way this Earth will survive. Vast amounts of good fertile land has been destroyed because of so called "conventional" farming. Co-existence with GMO's is ridiculous. They will destroy your business model and your customer base. Ultimately, GMO's and their defenders will destroy us, our children and finally this planet. There will be no way to reverse the damage. RIP organic food.
01/29/2011 6:52:02 PM CST
Ann says ...
You continue to prove your real motives. I will do everything in my power to make sure that I never shop with you again. and I will encourage everyone I know to do the same. get a spine
01/29/2011 8:03:07 PM CST
debbie lewis says ...
I am so dissappointed in Whole Foods. I will try to find other stores. Can no one stand up to the USDA. GE foods will take over, and the small organic farms will be gone. The USDA hasn't protected the citizens of this country for many, many years. As to the comment below about Obamas USDA--why don't you research this. Started under Reagan--a merry go round with the agency, and the what the agency regulates. Try looking at the drug companies and the lobbyists. Now it's happening in agriculture. Try thinking for yourself.
01/30/2011 11:03:13 AM CST
Manu Hipkins says ...
I appreciate the reassurance. However some questions remain unanswered for me and my clients. Does whole foods use GMO ingredients in their deli and bakery? I have asked different bakers and deli staff about this and they do not know. They even showed me the packaging and the canola oil and sugar did not say organic on the label. I find that very surprising an unsettling. Our consequence from Well Kiddos at this time is to advise our clients not to purchase Whole foods items that do not specifically label ingredients on the GMO list as organic. A clarification of your ingredient policy is much needed. Thank you for your attention to this important matter. Manu Hipkins, Founder, President Well Kiddos
01/30/2011 11:34:33 AM CST
Bob H says ...
Thanks for helping gm products to flourish in your stores. Lets hope people really start looking into how bad your "natural brand" label really is and ban your store. You are in this for the money, that is obvious, but don't try to say you are fighting for organics when only 10% of your store is organic, you are not much better than walmart! It is nice to see your company not do well in portland because we are too informed and have better choices than your store. Have fun with monsanto.
01/30/2011 11:52:17 AM CST
Jennifer S. says ...
People really need to educate themselves on the real issue here and not blame Whole foods for the worlds problems....Maybe it's because they are a Corporation people just love to hate them?? If your really concerned with how you spend your money, you wouldn't be shopping really anywhere. For example, Trader Joe's has one of the worst meat standards of all of them and Whole foods has just set some of the most strict regulations on their meat and seafood of anyone in the industry. I know this is off the issue but the point is...I think it's ridiculous to boycott a company that did what they had to do when as a whole they are probably the best out there.
01/30/2011 12:48:31 PM CST
Sally Blakemore says ...
What a crock. I remember the FIRST WHOLE FOODS store in Austin, Texas. It started small and kept its focus, organic and bulk foods for healthy eating. What Whole Foods has become, an over decorated hog farm for the rich, is really quite disgusting in a nation of hungry children. And so to pretend you are not right in there with the government is pathetic. Take some real action. No one I know is going to shop at your store after your announcement, so maybe you will be small and with a pure intention again. While McDonald's tries to take the Chinese market, contaminating their beautiful foods so fresh and family farm raised, I can see Whole Foods changing its name to McFoods Markets. A sell out is a sell out and the veil of lies has been lifted.
01/30/2011 12:51:51 PM CST
Ruth Ann Carter says ...
Dear WFM: Thank you for "The Whole Story" and the clarification of your positions stated therein. I chose to live across the street from your West Bloomfield, MI WFM and have exclusively shopped organic there since early 2000. In my opinion, the responsibility for this lies first with President Obama, who should never have appointed Mr. Vilsack to head the USDA because he should have known or been advised that Monsanto has contributed millions to Vilsack, which makes it not a bit surprising that Vilsack is now proceeding, in time for spring planting, to lead the USDA in choosing complete deregulation of GE alfalfa. Secondly, I feel that the fault also lies with certain folks at the USDA and Vilsack, who appear to want to help companies like Monsanto eliminate American and world access to organic food and replace it with their GE products more than they want to safeguard the American food supply. It is my hope that the Center for Food Safety and its co-plaintiffs will immediately seek an injunction against the USDA and Vilsack until scientific study and analysis and public input are all carefully considered; and that in the meantime, President Obama decides to ask Mr. Vilsack to resign for disregarding a federal court order and replaces him with someone who cares about safeguarding our food more than he cares about giving away our food safety to Monsanto et al.
01/30/2011 1:51:59 PM CST

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