Whole Foods Quietly Halts GMO Labeling Requirements

Jobmouse –
Whole Foods – Cupertino | Flickr

By Brandon Turbeville | Natural Blaze

A year after Whole Foods was acquired by Internet retail giant Amazon, the food company is backing off its commitment to ensuring that food suppliers inform the consumer and the store itself if their food products contain GMOs.

There is some confusion about the decision by Whole Foods to walk back on its commitment but one thing is for sure – it is walking back.


In an email sent by Whole Foods President and Chief Operations Officer A.C. Gallo announced that the company is pausing its GMO Food labeling requirements. The requirements, which were scheduled to take effect on September 1, would have required that suppliers disclose on their packaging whether or not their products contained genetically modified ingredients. The requirements, which were announced five years ago, were three months away from being implemented.

As Business Insider reports,

In a copy of the announcement obtained by The New Food Economy, Gallo and two vice presidents write that the pause is a response to suppliers’ concerns about having to comply with two competing sets of rules: Whole Foods’ own GMO labeling requirements, and rules newly proposed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which are currently open for public comment.

“As the USDA finalizes the federal regulation in the coming months and the food industry assesses the impact, we do not want our Policy to pose further challenges for you and your business,” the letter reads.

All this begs a question: is Whole Foods softening its commitment to GMO-labeling transparency?


The confusion is understandable. As currently proposed, the USDA policy would make several substantive changes to the way GMOs have traditionally been defined by the food industry — starting with the terminology itself. The government’s preferred nomenclature is “bioengineered” (BE), which only refers to a food that has had another organism’s genes spliced into it by a process called transgenesis. Other types of genetic modification, including some produced by gene-editing tools like CRISPR, would not need to be labeled.

As currently written, Whole Foods’ requirements would be more stringent than the proposed USDA rules in at least two significant ways. First, USDA has suggested letting companies label BE ingredients by QR code, meaning that customers would need to be directed to a website via smartphone to find out what’s in their food — a method that has been criticized as a cumbersome extra step. Whole Foods has never planned to allow QR codes to count as GMO disclosures, Project Nosh reports. Second, USDA rules contain perplexing carveouts for meat products, which are regulated under a different system, as explained here and here.

Whole Foods now faces a choice: It can move forward with its original plan, or defer to the government’s less comprehensive new rules. The company has the ability to be clearer and more stringent than the federal regulations, requiring all foods that might contain genetically modified ingredients to say as much. Deferring to USDA rules would, instead, require only that some GMO-containing products are labeled as such — likely a sore point for non-GMO advocates, and not necessarily great for the Whole Foods brand. It would mean that a company that’s long claimed the moral high ground would be no more transparent, as far as GMO labeling goes, than any other grocery store.

The chain’s new position is in direct contrast to the one it announced five years ago in 2013 when co-CEO Walter Robb said in a statement that “We are putting a stake in the ground on GMO labeling to support the consumers’ right to know.”

Unfortunately, Whole Foods has pulled up the stake on their promise. It remains to be seen how much the corporation will be hurt by this move since a sizeable portion of their customer base is opposed to consuming GMOs.

This article (Whole Foods Quietly Halts GMO Labeling Requirements) was created by and appeared first at Natural Blaze. It can be reshared with attribution but MUST include link to homepage, bio, intact links and this message. Image 

About the Author

brandon

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real Conspiracies,Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria,and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 1,000 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

Read more great articles at Natural Blaze.

Tags: , , , ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top

Send this to friend