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Whole Foods annouced GMO transparency

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

The announcement was made on Friday, March 8th 2013, before the opening of the 30th annual Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, by Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. He said that all products sold in Whole Foods U.S. and Canadian stores containing genetically modified ingredients must be labeled by 2018.

“We are committed to full GMO transparency within 5 years,” Walter Robb, told “Working together with our suppliers, which we are going to need to do, every product that does contain GMOs or may contain GMOs will be labeled as such. It’s a big step up for the customer’s right to know.”

Whole Foods Market Inc. is seeing growing demand for products that don't use GMOs, reports Associated Press. Products that get a Non-GMO verification label see sales spike between 15 percent and 30 percent, said A.C. Gallo, president of Whole Foods. In non-perishable groceries, he said the two fastest growing areas are organic and non-GMO products. Products that don't use any GMOs are more expensive given the tighter supplies of such ingredients, Gallo said. But he said he hoped the announcement would "open up the market" for more non-GMO crops. Whole Foods says it has been working with suppliers for years to source products that don't have GMO ingredients. It says it currently sells more than 3,000 products have gone through the non-GMO verification process, more than any other retailer in North America.

Last year, California voters shot down an initiative that would have required such labels. Gallo said the Whole Foods push will be more exhaustive than that initiative because it will require labeling for meats and dairy products if the animals were fed GMO grains. Given the widespread use of GMO grains to feed farm animals, Gallo said the push would be a "huge undertaking."

Patty Lovera of Food and Water Watch, a consumer and environmental advocacy group, called the Whole Foods announcement a "smart move." Her group and others have been pushing for a federal law requiring labeling on all genetically modified foods. “We urge other business leaders to work with us to give every American the same right as consumers in 62 other countries,” Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Stonyfield Farm and board chair of Organic Voices said. “More than 90 percent of Americans want the right to know whether their food contains GMOs so that they can make the best choices for their families.” Given the enormous influence Whole Foods has on the market, GMO labeling advocates hope the retailer’s latest step toward stricter product standards will encourage others to take similar action.


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